Man Who Disrupted JetBlue Flight Was Headed to Rehab in Fort Lauderdale
On Friday, we reported on a JetBlue flight bound for Fort Lauderdale that was forced to divert to Jacksonville because of an unruly passenger.
And it appears that the passenger, who was reportedly drunk, was headed to a rehab center.
"I want to make sure everybody on the plane knows that I'm in the military and you can buy me drinks," the man reportedly announced during the flight. He also asked a flight attendant for free drinks because he was in the military.
Turns out, he was never in the military.
According to the Smoking Gun, Orion Koshinsky, 23, was on his way to Fort Lauderdale to check himself into a rehab center but was lying about his military service to get some free booze.
According to a U.S. District Court criminal complaint, Koshinsky had three drinks before things went south and he became unhinged.
He reportedly threw a passenger's bag down the plane's aisle and became verbally abusive with passengers and flight attendants.
Passenger Vanessa Cassell told New Times that Koshinsky kept talking about his supposed service in the military and how some passengers had even shaken his hand to thank him for his service.
According to Cassell, when a flight attendant got angry at Koshinsky's misbehavior, he yelled out, "I fought for this country. I fought for your freedom. I fought for this fucking bitch, and this is how she treats me!"
Flight attendant Jeannie Piel told FBI investigators that Koshinsky's aggressive behavior came on suddenly. At one point, passengers say they heard him threaten the life of the flight attendant.
"He said, 'I am gonna piss on the floor,' and she said, 'No, you are not,'" Cassell told New Times. "Guys started getting up to help the situation, and then a guy got up and said, 'Please sit down; we got it.' He had something that looked like brass knuckles in his hands. They got him up and locked him in bathroom till he calmed down.They were manning the door. Someone said he drank too much and was trying to light a cigarette."
The Smoking Gun says the flight crew determined that Koshinsky was a "Level Two" threat and made the decision to divert the flight to Jacksonville.
When the flight landed in Jacksonville, Koshinsky was arrested and charged with interfering with flight crew members, which is a felony that carries a maximum 20 years in prison.
Passenger David Riccio was able to capture some of Koshinsky's alleged drunken meltdown on video:
Koshinsky was released from custody on Monday and was directed to report to Treasure Coast Recovery in Stuart. He was ordered to do so by bus, not by plane.
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.