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3-month sentence for Japan-Hawaii flight assault

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm •  Published: July 29, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) — A Japanese man received a three-month sentence Tuesday for a drunken altercation with flight attendants during a trip to Hawaii for his honeymoon.

Kenji Okamoto has been in federal custody since the May flight landed in Honolulu, missing his honeymoon that was to be spent at a luxury east Honolulu resort, but allowing him to serve more than two months of his sentence. He's expected to be released in a few weeks and will return to Japan, said Salina Althof, his federal public defender.

Okamoto pleaded guilty last month to interfering with a flight attendant's duties by assaulting and intimidating him.

Okamoto, 30, of Kyoto, was flying first-class from Osaka when he got upset because a flight attendant wouldn't take his tray away, prosecutors said. The flight attendant told him he would return because his hands were full.

Okamoto became outraged, got out of his seat and went toward the flight attendant, who retreated in fear, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Hino said. Another flight attendant who attempted to intervene received bruises on his arm from trying to block Okamoto's punch, Hino said.

The Delta Air Lines flight crew told authorities that Okamoto later apologized while crying, remained calm for the remainder of the flight and eventually fell asleep, according to court documents.

After crew members restrained him in his seat, "Okamoto apologized for his actions by repeatedly saying 'I'm sorry' and bowed down on his knees and placed his head on the floor," the documents said.

Hino argued that the ordeal was dangerous, having taken place near the cockpit and involving a struggle with three flight attendants and a passenger. The pilot was informed of the situation and believed there was an emergency, Hino said.

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