Montana Man Sentenced for Assault on Flight Crew on Flight to Juneau

JUNEAU – A Montana man was sentenced on May 19, 2023, for assaulting a flight crew member on a commercial airline flight while the plane was landing at the Juneau airport. 

According to court documents, on April 1, 2023, Eric Richard Bruns, 42, was a passenger aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 67 with service from Sitka to Juneau. While the aircraft was in flight, Bruns started acting erratically and refused crew members instructions to remain seated while the plane was on approach to the Juneau airport. Bruns remained standing in the aisle and began moving towards the front of the aircraft and was physically obstructed by the flight crew member. Bruns made verbal threats to assault the flight crew member and physically tried to shove his way past the flight crew member, striking the crew member with his hands. At that time, while the aircraft was landing at the Juneau airport, two federal law enforcement officers and a civilian assisted the flight crew member and physically restrained Bruns in an unoccupied seat until the plane arrived at the gate.      

The defendant pled guilty on May 17, 2023, before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew S. Scoble to an Information charging Assault in the Special Aircraft Jurisdiction of the United States, in violation 49 U.S.C. § 46506 and 18 U.S.C. § 113. He was sentenced to time served.

“The safety and security of air travel is paramount, and we will continue to prosecute offenders in order to ensure that all passengers are able to travel without fear of assault or harm,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker. “We hope that this case will serve as a warning to others who may consider committing similar acts in the future, and that it will encourage everyone to follow the rules and regulations designed to keep our skies safe and secure.”

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt prosecuted the case.