Man accused of interfering with flight arraigned
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A man accused of interfering with a flight crew and forcing a plane to divert to Logan Airport was in court for arraignment Friday morning.
Massachusetts State Police said Michael Ensalaco, 40, was allegedly trying to open the airplane’s cabin door while it was en route from Portland, Maine to Philadelphia. The incident forced an emergency landing at Logan Airport.
In court, Ensalaco said he had a seizure that left him so disoriented that he remembers nothing from the flight. Prosecutors told the judge that passengers on the plane had no idea what was happening.
"I was sitting in 2A and I screamed, and then the flight attendant came rushing and got him and moved him to the rear of the aircraft," said Tina Brinkerhoff, a passenger.
“At some point during the flight, the defendant was seen getting out of his seat, approaching the front of the plane, pulling back a blue curtain that led to the cockpit door,” Assistant District Attorney Meghan King said.
“He’s a sick man,” Ensalaco’s lawyer, Mike Natola, said. “He’s got medical conditions and as he just said to me, he has committed no crime and he has nothing to be embarrassed about.”
Natola says Ensalaco has had a seizure disorder for years and that while others may not notice the seizures themselves, they will likely notice the erratic behavior that follows.
“He has disassociation, confusion, and doesn’t remember what he does,” Natola said. “He’s got symptoms that might be consistent similar to sleepwalking.”
Natola says Ensalaco’s first memory is of being in the back of a state police cruiser. Prosecutors say he told a flight attendant he was looking for a bathroom and that he had urinated in his seat.
Over the telephone, Ensalaco’s wife Lisa told 7News her husband wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
“He wouldn’t mean anyone any harm, but when he has these seizures he’s not fully alert,” she said.
The judge released Ensalaco on $500 bail and told him to go home and immediately follow up with his doctor. His attorney says he hopes eventually the charges will be dropped.