Drunk Australian Man Goes Berserk Aboard China Southern Airlines Flight, Charged with Disturbance, Assault

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 5, 2014 4:59 PM EST

An Australian man who went berserk aboard a China Southern Airlines flight 329 to Vancouver on Sunday has been charged with disturbance, mischief and assault and will be deported back to Australia.

REUTERS
A Qantas Boeing 747 flies past a 767 airplane with a newly unveiled Qantas logo on its tail at Sydney airport, in this file picture taken July 24, 2007. Qantas Airways Ltd put fresh strain on Australia's 'open for business' credentials on December 5, 2013 calling for government support after shocking investors with a loss warning.

Abdul Zain Ali, 25, had too much to drink way before boarding the flight. Attendants said he was holding a bottle of Chivas Regal when he came on board. They tried to stop him from drinking but were unsuccessful.

Halfway through the 12,000-km, 11.5-hour flight to Vancouver from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, the inevitable happened.

"Everyone was asleep and the lights were turned off in the plane, and he ran down the aisles, screaming and yelling at someone and alarming everyone and waking everyone up," the National Post quoted passenger Tanya Truong.

"The guy was crazy. He was headed for the emergency exit," James Leigh, another passenger, said.

Mr Leigh said he saw the flight attendants trying to subdue Mr Ali. "They tried to control him and apprehend him, but they couldn't do it on their own."

Describing himself as a former military man who served in Afghanistan, Mr Leigh said he jumped on Mr Ali and hold him down while they brought out handcuffs.

"I weigh 275 pounds. I got kicked, I got hit, I got hurt, but we managed to get him in handcuffs," he was quoted as saying. 

Mr Ali was sentenced to time served. He was also slapped a 2-year probation prohibiting him from drinking within 24 hours before boarding on any Canadian plane or any flight to Canada.

"We heard he had drunk quite a bit, and he'd been arguing with the female passenger with him. Then he started arguing and yelling with the flight attendant. It just got out of hand," Vancouver resident Jason Mah said.

"He wasn't even making sense," Mr Mah said. "He's basically running from the back of the plane to the very front. Everyone was woken by it, wondering what was going on," he added.

Mr Leigh said everybody got upset while the commotion ensued. It was terror, he said.

"He could have opened the back door," Mr Leigh stated.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Tim Wimborne)
A Qantas Boeing 747 flies past a 767 airplane with a newly unveiled Qantas logo on its tail at Sydney airport, in this file picture taken July 24, 2007. Qantas Airways Ltd put fresh strain on Australia's 'open for business' credentials on December 5, 2013 calling for government support after shocking investors with a loss warning.
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