BOSTON (AP) -- A London-bound flight was diverted to Boston after a British passenger attacked crew members and threatened to kill all 247 people on board, prosecutors said.
Sean Simon John Joyce, 38, who appeared in U.S. district court Tuesday, was charged with assaulting an intimidating a flight crew member and a flight attendant.
Joyce was arrested Monday night at Logan International Airport.
Authorities say Joyce, who lives in London, boarded US Airways Flight 94 in Charlotte, North Carolina, after taking a connecting flight there from Miami. The flight crew said he began drinking white wine and taking pills and quickly became abusive.
''He pushed at least one flight attendant, took off his shirt, and butted another crew member in the face,'' according to an affidavit written by FBI agent Scott P. Dietsche.
As the crew and passengers tried to handcuff Joyce, Dietsche said, ''He continually hit and spit on those trying to subdue him, swore repeatedly, and threatened to kill those subduing him, as well as all the passengers on the entire plane.''
The plane, which at the time was about 150 miles (241 kilometers) east of Boston, was diverted to Logan.
Joyce's court-appointed lawyer, Michael Andrews, said his client suffers from a sinus infection and had an adverse reaction to the medication. He said Joyce had been visiting his parents in Florida and was on his way home to London.
A hearing has been scheduled for Friday to determine whether he will remained jailed while awaiting tail. Prosecutors argued that Joyce is likely to flee or pose a danger if released
The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.