Accused JetBlue Fighter Charged With Assault

JetBlue flight diverted after incident with 88 passengers aboard. Man accused of fighting with brother, cousin after smoking on flight. Scuffle continued for 20 minutes as the plane remained in flight.

A JetBlue plane was held in North Carolina for two hours while passengers were interviewed.

(CNN) -- The passenger suspected of starting a bloody fistfight aboard a JetBlue flight over the weekend was charged with assault Monday, according to court documents.

Saturday's fisticuffs caused officials to divert the jet headed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and caused 88 passengers to sit on the plane as federal authorities investigated the incident.

The altercation involved two brothers and a cousin who were seated at the back of the plane, and was triggered when one of the three, Andrew Mark Thompson, smoked a cigarette in the bathroom onboard, according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI.

When Thompson exited the bathroom, his brother and cousin chastised him for smoking on the plane and a flight attendant warned him about it, the complaint said.

Thompson asked for an alcoholic beverage from flight attendants and was told that he would not get one because he had violated rules by smoking in the bathroom. He began cursing loudly and begging his brother and cousin to buy a drink for him, according to the criminal complaint.

Then "Thompson got out of his seat, came across the aisle and struck his brother in the left eye, causing an open wound. The wound left a trail of blood down the aisle of the plane," the complaint said.

A scuffle continued for 20 minutes as the plane remained in flight.

Thompson was charged with assault and intimidating a flight crew.

Thompson, his brother and cousin told authorities that they had consumed alcohol before the flight.

The flight was diverted to a North Carolina airport for about two hours while FBI investigators interviewed passengers aboard the flight.


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