A 33-year-old man who apparently made several threats to harm passengers and flight crew while traveling from Qatar to the US earlier this month has been indicted in federal court in Houston.
Joseph Ferrarone has been charged with interfering with a flight crew, and if convicted could face up to 20 years in jail, local media in Texas reported, citing court documents.
The defendant previously served in the US Army in Afghanistan and may have been suffering mental health issues.
He apparently became disruptive on a Dec. 1 Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The passenger was returning to the US from Thailand via Doha and flying in economy class when the incident happened, the publication stated, continuing:
“Ferrarone allegedly threatened to pour a supposed chemical concoction on the plane’s window to melt a hole in it and cause it to explode. He also allegedly pulled out a mechanical pencil and said he’d previously used it on 15 people.
‘I’ve killed in the past and I’ll kill again,’ Ferrarone supposedly said as he repeatedly kicked the seat in front of him while on Flight 713.”
The passenger remained in his seat and was guarded by at least two flight crew members during the 15-hour trip to Houston.
Speaking to AP, the defendant’s attorney said that Ferrarone has pleaded not guilty and is set for trial Feb. 2. Thomas Berg added that his client remained in custody without bond pending mental health tests.
Qatar Airways has yet not commented on the matter.