Unruly passenger forces ANA flight to land in Anchorage en route to New York

TOKYO —

A 38-year-old Japanese passenger aboard an All Nippon Airways flight from Narita to New York’s Kennedy airport on Monday went beserk, causing the Boeing 777 aircraft to make an unscheduled stop at Anchorage.

According to the Sankei Shimbun, Kyodo News and reports in the Anchorage Daily News, Nobuya Michael Ochinero began shouting in a loud voice. After disregarding warnings from the crew members to calm down, the pilot diverted to Anchorage, where Ochinero was arrested by federal agents.

A passenger seated in the row in front of Ochinero was quoted as saying, “He was berserk from the moment he got on the plane. He was yelling and screaming, spitting on the floor. He was smacking the back of my seat and other passengers’ seats.”

Finally, crew members and passengers used zip-tie handcuffs onboard the aircraft to immobilize the man, as he spat at the passengers and crew.

ANA’s spokesperson told the media that no crew members or passengers were injured in the incident. After a delay of approximately six hours, Flight 10 continued to New York.

Ochinero, according to his Facebook profile, is a graduate of Skidmore College and Boston College who works at the University of Tokyo.

No federal charges had been filed as of Monday

Japan Today

  • 8

    JeffLee

    He'll make some nice new friends in an American jail, I'm sure. Whether he likes it or not...

  • 8

    Jean ValJean

    Was that Skid-row College?

    So, why did he freak out?

  • 4

    Maria

    You seem to have his name wrong. Try Nobuya Michael Ochinero.

  • 33

    House Atreides

    "He was berserk from the moment he got on the plane. He was yelling and screaming, spitting on the floor. He was smacking the back of my seat and other passengers' seats."

    Why did the plane take off with him on board? He should have been arrested at Narita.

  • 25

    Maria

    He was "unruly" from the moment he boarded, yet they chose to travel all the way to the US with him and dump him there, rather than remove him while still in Japan. Was that really worth risking the safety of the passengers and crew, not to have the police have to deal with him in Japan?

  • 8

    CrazyJoe

    Leave your "air-rage" on the ground. At 30,000 feet, you don't have the same options you have on the ground.

  • -1

    darknuts

    Skidrow college? Lol! Well atleast they got a free trip to Alaska out of it.

  • 2

    Laguna

    Below is a link to his Facebook page. It is nice to see that Tokyo University has such outstanding faculty working for them.

    https://www.facebook.com/nobuyaochinero

  • 2

    kimuzukashiiiii

    he sounds like an awful piece of work, regardless of his nationality.

  • 6

    Maria

    he sounds like an awful piece of work, regardless of his nationality.

    Is his nationality in question?

  • 13

    Pukey2

    Having surfed the net to see what info there was, I wasn't surprised when I came across so many Japanese doubting whether the unruly passenger was really Japanese. In other cases, he'd be accused of being a Korean. It's as if Japanese aren't capable of being criminals. I can just picture so many people saying, but he's half American, he's not REALLY Japanese, blah blah blah.

    I wonder whether he'll still be working at Todai?

    Maria: Yes I find it rather strange they took off even though he'd already gone berserk. Customer is king?

  • 3

    Thunderbird2

    Sounds like a wannabe Yakuza with all that shouting.

  • 2

    oikawa

    Below is a link to his Facebook page. It is nice to see that Tokyo University has such outstanding faculty working for them.

    https://www.facebook.com/nobuyaochinero

    LOL!! He looks like a psycho. Probably mental health issues.

  • 5

    Guy Fawkes

    It's as if Japanese aren't capable of being criminals. I can just picture so many people saying, but he's half American, he's not REALLY Japanese, blah blah blah.

    You are right. I just read some "interesting" comments.

  • -14

    Ah_so

    I wasn't surprised when I came across so many Japanese doubting whether the unruly passenger was really Japanese.

    I would join them. Tunrs out he is some sort of American.

  • 4

    Maria

    Niconico news has him as a 日本人の男性, and they would be the first to identify him as foreign, wouldn't they?

  • 1

    Fukuppy

    His airplane food was not oishii enough I expect. Don't you know sushi is now a protected World Heritage delicacy? And why no whale meat? You expect me not to get angry? We Japanese blah blah...

  • 2

    Laguna

    LOL!! He looks like a psycho. Probably mental health issues.

    I was guessing 脱法ハーブ (dappo herb - lucky he didn't cannibalize his fellow passengers).

  • 1

    techall

    I'm a little perplexed at this story. As others have mentioned, it is highly unlikely that the cabin crew would let the plane take off with a "berserk" passenger on board. I do note that it mentions only one passenger who said that and that passenger was sitting in front of him. Perhaps this passenger had his seat reclined while other passenger were still trying to get seated? (just speculation as this has happened to me before). Just not enough detail for me, in any case not good to go "berserk" on an airliner.

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    This guy does look like a real trouble maker. How did this University of Tokyo ever get the bright idea of hiring a guy like this?? Who knows!! But will he still have a job there?? I really doubt it! Most likely he will be fired and if any other schools have any brains they will not touch him with a 10 foot pole! Do hope this guy gets some mental help.

  • 7

    Dukeleto

    Ahhhem...used to work at the University of Tokyo.

  • 1

    John Bosworth

    I know this man and you are all wrong. He is not evil nor is he crazy. He may have some temporary problem which sympathetic treatment will help him fix. Just leave him alone....

  • -4

    Kabukilover

    We will need more information before we can formulate any reasonable conclusions. It is possible he was drugged.

  • 6

    slumdog

    It does not matter if he was Japanese or not, he acted like a crazy person on a plane and he was arrested for it, as it should be.

  • 0

    DaveAllTogether

    He was "unruly" from the moment he boarded, yet they chose to travel all the way to the US with him and dump him there, rather than remove him while still in Japan. Was that really worth risking the safety of the passengers and crew, not to have the police have to deal with him in Japan?

    The flight took off because he was not a danger at departure. It had nothing to do wanting to unload him unto US authorities.

  • 1

    Laguna

    A Japanese-language article I read stated that his nationality was Japanese. He should hope so: If not, he'll likely never be permitted on these shores again.

  • -1

    dokachin

    He is an international school brat...probably using his Japanese passport to come in. His American passport will be sent on...that is what Japanese/other national people do. His job is English support so he isn't a professor of Toyko University.

  • 8

    taiko666

    It does not matter if he was Japanese or not

    It matters a hell of a lot to many Japanese people. As Eiji Takano says, a Japanese-American who fouls up is a 'foreigner' whereas a Japanese-American who succeeds is 'Japanese.'

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    Ahhhem...used to work at the University of Tokyo.

    If he is a full-time regular employee, they are stuck with him. If he were arrested in Japan, or declared bunkruptcy, they might be able to fire him, otherwise it is very difficult.

  • 2

    Bear27840

    No bowing and saying sorry will get him out of this one.

  • -3

    Elbuda Mexicano

    @Taiko, this dude, screwed up pretty bad on that ANA plane and I guess he used his JAPANESE passport, assuming this guy has both Japanese and US citizenship so ANA, etc..had no choice but to report that it was a Japanese citizen doing all of this hell raising up in the air and now will get the chance to cool off his heals at the local Alaska jail for idiots. Anyway, these kind of idiots come a dime a dozen and sure, it would have been nice if this idiot fool would have been turned away at the gate, but hey $hit happens and sometimes these kinds of fools do get on board so, luckily nobody was hurt or worse. Also everybody is going on here that if he did something good and was half Japanese, the Japanese papers would be yelling at the top of their lungs a Japanese did something great, but this idiot fool who is half American?? Did something quite stupid on that ANA flight and the papers, NHK etc..are calling him JAPANESE, so all of our racist, Japan bashers here, take a deep breath and read before you start spewing out all of your hate for Japan and Japanese.

  • -1

    Bulak Ohya

    I checked the Facebook link that is shared above. OMG!! I know the guy. He's half American half Japanese. What happened to you Mike?? "Sigh" :(

  • -4

    Disillusioned

    Ha ha! In Japan he would have got a nice comfortable bed for the night and a stern talking to with breakfast. In the US he's gonna be lucky if he sees the sun anytime in the next two years. Otsukare fool!

  • 1

    Tessa

    “He was berserk from the moment he got on the plane. He was yelling and screaming, spitting on the floor. He was smacking the back of my seat and other passengers’ seats.”

    That sounds incredibly scary, and he should've been moved off the plane before it took off.

  • 2

    toshiko

    kabukilover stated ,,,,,, We will need more information before we can formulate any reasonable conclusions. It is possible he was drugged.

    We don;t know what kind of job he has at Tokyoo U that has janitors, book keepers, student assist, accountants, and many varieties of job employees. Beside that, we don;t even know physicl descriptioms, Just know his full name and detained in USA. We don;t know what kind of Visa(s) he has.

    We need more info. Maybe Wednesday we may get more info?

  • 2

    LBW2010

    Would really like to know the psychological background behind this apparent meltdown. On a 13-hour flight to NYC, my best guess is a bad reaction to sleeping / anxiety medication and alcohol.

  • -3

    BurakuminDes

    He can always try the arrested salaryman standard - "I was drunk and don't remember anything". That works in the US too, no?!

  • -2

    toshiko

    Burakumin, In USA, LEA in any place uses toxicology tests to find what % of alco, if narco or weeds were used thoroughly. //verbal excuses were not used after suspects were advised on 5th amendment, " I refused to answer ,,,,, " Those testing machines have Japanese Tech companies name. Many of them, including Airport has body search machines that display contents of stomach, etc. You walk through one gate and that is it. Mahine shows what you ate a few hours ago.

  • 0

    Cos

    I doubt he had that attitude when he was in college or working for Todai. And even a jerk would not persist that long. It's likely he was intoxicated or had a fit of something. I guess the company is not pressing charges before knowing.

    my best guess is a bad reaction to sleeping / anxiety medication and alcohol.

    Even without alcohol. My grandma was going crazy like that whenever she had to stay in hospital for anything, just the reaction to sleeping stuff they routinely put them in the drink at night.

  • 2

    ToshiYori

    assuming this guy has both Japanese and US citizenship

    Is dual citizenship possible? I didn't think dual US-Japanese citizenship was allowed.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    Is dual citizenship possible? I didn't think dual US-Japanese citizenship was allowed.

    http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/yosha/yr/nationality/Dual_nationality.html

  • 0

    Fadamor

    I'm a little perplexed at this story. As others have mentioned, it is highly unlikely that the cabin crew would let the plane take off with a "berserk" passenger on board.

    The only thing I can think of is that Japan's equivalent of the U.S.' FAA doesn't have a rule about removing unruly passengers and pilots are not allowed to refuse to leave the gate if a passenger is disruptive before push-back. If so, then the pilot's hands were figuratively tied until he reached international airspace and could act on his own responsibility. This seems extremely unlikely, however, as I believe it is a universal axiom that the pilot in command is responsible for the safe operation of his aircraft and the safety of ALL his passengers. I wonder if ANA needed the gate for an arriving flight and pressured him to start his push-back?

  • 0

    maitai62

    The voices told him to do it... He definitely has that psycho look.

  • -2

    Pukey2

    A simple search on the internet can reveal so much information about this guy - I even found his address by accident!!! Yes maitai62, he definitely has THAT look. Urgh!

  • 0

    Dennis Bauer

    Bad trip? pun intended ;)

  • 2

    Balefire

    The Japanese news story seems to be saying that the problem was not "from the moment he boarded the plane", but rather "4 1/2 hours into the flight", and says that he was drunk.

    If that's the case, it puts a different perspective on the event than what some speculation here suggests.

    Perhaps he had a few too many, perhaps he was affected by the booze more than usual, due to being tired, stressed, or whatever.

    I've certainly seen plenty of obstreperous behavior by folks--of various nationalities--who have drunk too much on planes, although admittedly not to such an extreme degree.

    Whatever the facts are, it won't be doing his career any good.

  • 0

    Mirai Hayashi

    he sounds like an awful piece of work, regardless of his nationality.

    He looks like he's got some screws loose too.

  • 0

    Alex Einz

    he seems to have some issues going there...

  • 1

    Magnus Roe

    Dorky thing to do, but I think you're all overreacting. If you've ever been on a charter plane to Thailand, Spain, Greece, Turkey and so on you likely have some first hand experience with a character like this. Flipping out on a plane doesn't have to mean you're insane, it's perfectly possible to get drunk enough, and if so inclined personality-wise, to lose your &¤!# and end up making the captain take a detour. In Europe it's punished with heavy fines and newspaper shaming, but not usually prison or asylum time.

  • -1

    Peacetrain

    I guess that's the downside of the internet age. If you do something wrong or embarrassing - because of being drunk, high, mentally I'll or just a character flaw, you also have people all over the world who have nothing to do with you also criticizing and condemning.

    No doubt the ancestors of JT commentators were the type who lived going to public hangings or throwing tomatoes at people in stocks.

    People are interesting

  • 0

    Michael Greenberg

    The New York Times said the affidavit was unsealed. He supposedly had more than 5 drinks and meds for bipolar, schizophrenia, etc on him. So he has biological mental issues plus was intoxicated. He is reported to have both citizenships. Yes, you are not supposed to but many do it anyway. This is where the downside comes in - if you get in trouble which side helps you? (Similar to Christopher Savoie's situation- he had both which may be why the US Embassy didn't let him in after he took back his kid).

  • 0

    wild_one

    Not one of his Facebook friends has a Japanese name, although, he lists Shibuya as his current residence...a little unusual to have no Japanese friends while living in Shibuya...

  • 0

    ka_chan

    Drugs and Alcohol don't mix especially at high altitude. It's not the effects get stronger but you are more likely to dehydrate so 2-3 becomes more like 4-5. The US standard is .08 and Japan is .03. He had 0.137. Guess what one of the side effects of mixing alcohol and schizophrenia medication, increased violent behavior according to a Swiss study.

    http://news.yahoo.com/man-caused-plane-diversion-says-drinking-204728884.html;_ylt=AwrTWfxF9ftSbTYA5KXQtDMD

    BTW, would he be a Japanese-American in the US and American-Japanese in Japan. Didn't think you can hold dual citizenship in Japan by Japanese law. It kind depends on how he got both citizen-ships. You don't loose your US citizenship just because you became another country's citizen. Countries like Canada don't care how many citizen-ships you have. But it also means that if you break the laws of a country that you are a citizen of, you other country(s) would not be able to help you.

  • -1

    Carlos Godoy

    It's interesting how many of the posts reveal such ignorance of how Jpnse dual-nationals handle their own passports.

    Japanese law does not accept dual nationality. But they cannot effectively enforce it. They try to enforce a chose-us-or-them by the time you're 20, but most of my dual national friends choose to keep both. Then they can travel easily without a visa etc., and still re-enter japan.

    I went to international school (my kohai) with this fellow and it's very disheartening to see the nature of some of these posts. No guess we all need someone to point out fingers at.

  • 0

    Ah_so

    Well he IS Japanese... I don't know what 2chan source Ah_so was reading.

    I did not read another source - it was that his middle name was "Michael".

  • 1

    Gerri Ochinero

    Nobuya is my nephew. His father is American. His mother, Japanese. Nobuya was given every advantage in life. He studied in the U.S. and Germany and has a**** Masters degree. Nobuya was fortunate to have traveled extensively throughout the world with his parents and brother. He speaks 3 languages, has a quirky sense of humor, and especially loves New York and Boston. The sad thing is, he developed a mental disorder several years ago which has severely impaired his life and his parents' lives, as well. His life, and life with him, is chaotic. Alcohol is his enemy. He had 6 drinks on that flight to New York.
    Don't criticize Nobuya. He was a cute, smart, clever guy until he was struck with a troubled mind which brings him great sadness. It could happen to any one of you.

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