Cops: Man flying to FL attacks flight attendants

Posted at 8:04 AM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 12:42:46-05

Authorities say a Virginia man flying from Washington, D.C., to Jacksonville, Fla., had to be restrained after attacking another passenger and two flight attendants.

The U.S. attorney’s office reported Monday that 36-year-old Joseph Michael Sharkey is charged with assault or intimidation of a flight crew. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

A criminal complaint says Sharkey was on a JetBlue flight Sunday when he verbally assaulted another passenger and then placed that passenger in a headlock. The complaint says Sharkey then fought with two flight attendants before he could be restrained.

The plane landed safely in Jacksonville, and airport police arrested Sharkey.

A formal detention hearing is set for Wednesday. An after-hours phone message left with the federal public defender’s office wasn’t immediately returned.