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Feds: Guilty plea expected in Delta flight assault

Prosecutor: Man expected to plead guilty to hitting flight attendant during flight to Hawaii By The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) ' A 65-year-old Japanese man was scheduled to plead guilty Friday to assaulting a flight attendant aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Tokyo to Honolulu, a federal prosecutor said.

Sohei Yamanouchi hit the flight attendant once with an open hand and once with a closed fist after drinking four glasses of wine in business class during the Monday flight, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. A crew member also noted that Yamanouchi had a glass of champagne before the plane departed.

After the meal service, the flight attendant was speaking to a passenger sitting behind Yamanouchi about a media player that wasn't working. He then rose from his seat and struck the flight attendant on her left shoulder with an open palm, then punched the same shoulder, shook his fist at her in a "threatening manner," and told her to "shut up" in English, the complaint said.

He was escorted back to his seat and there were no other confrontations during the remainder of the flight.

Yamanouchi was traveling to Hawaii to attend his son's wedding at a Waikiki hotel, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Song said. FBI agents arrested Yamanouchi when the flight landed at Honolulu International Airport. He was released on $10,000 bond ' with a provision that he not be allowed to drink alcohol ' and he attended the wedding.

Yamanouchi faces a maximum of six months in prison and a $10,000 fine when he pleads guilty and is sentenced Friday.

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