Man who attacked United flight attendant forcing diversion ordered to pay $50,000 to airline

Man to pay back $50,000 for causing diversion.


A man who attacked and threatened to kill a flight attendant last year was ordered Tuesday in federal court to repay the nearly $50,000 it cost to divert the plane to Anchorage.


Seksan Kumtong, of North Hollywood, was travelling onΒ aΒ Los Angeles to Narita, Japan flight when he reportedly began banging on the bathroom doors.


Cabin crew managed to persuade the 52-year-old to return to his seat where he eventually fell asleep.


However, after waking up again KumtongΒ struck a flight attendant in the face and pulled them to the ground because he was refused an alcoholic beverage.


According to an FBI affidavit, he shouted “I will kill you,” along with other obscenities, before the flight was diverted to Anchorage, Alaska whereΒ Kumtong was arrested.


Vouchers were provided for meals and hotel stays to the airplane staff and 214 passengers resulting in a totalΒ cost of $49,793 to the airline.


During sentencing, Judge Timothy Burgess said “this is more than just an expensive inconvenience to everybody on that flight, but there’s actually a real victim in this case that has suffered physical consequences for his conduct.”


Kumtong’s attorney claimed that his client suffered from severe diabetes, which, when combined with alcohol, may have contributed to his outburst.


He was sentenced to five years of probation and will pay back the $49,793 in restitution.


Judge Burgess said Kumtong avoided a prison sentence out of concern for his medical condition, which puts him at a higher risk of Covid-19.