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Brothers Arrested For Attacking Pilot On Miami-To-SFO Flight

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Luis Baez Jonathan Baez, pilot punched, attack, Miami SFO

L-R, Luis Baez, Jonathan Baez (Miami-Dade Corrections)

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MIAMI (CBS) – Two brothers on an American Airlines flight set to depart from Miami to San Francisco were arrested after police said they attacked the pilot who had removed one of them from the plane.

Luis and Jonathan Baez were on American flight 1755 which was about to take off Wednesday night when a flight attendant noticed Jonathan Baez, 27, was sleeping and not wearing his seat belt.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

The flight attendant tried to wake him up so he could buckle his seatbelt before take-off but he was unresponsive and appeared to be intoxicated or on narcotics, according to the arrest affidavit.

When the pilot was notified, he returned the plane to the gate and woke up the sleeping passenger in order to tell him he had to leave the plane due to his condition, according to American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith.

After Jonathan Baez walked off the plane without incident, his brother became belligerent, walked onto the jet bridge and threatened the pilot. Luis Baez, 29, said, “When you fly to San Juan, I will have you killed,” according to the report.

Both men left the plane but police said Jonathan Baez re-entered moments later and punched the pilot in the face. A flight attendant tried to break up the fight and she was also hit in the shoulder, according to the report.

Once the brothers were on the jet bridge walking toward the terminal, with the pilot behind them, the two jumped the pilot again, and beat him some more, according to the affidavit. The pilot, who has not been identified, tried to get away by running through the terminal but the men ran after him and continued to beat him, police said.

The brothers were eventually detained by flight crew members. They were taken into custody and transported to the Miami-Dade County jail.

The men have been charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and simple battery.

The plane eventually took off with a different pilot.

Because assaulting an airline crewmember is a federal offense, the FBI is now involved in the investigation, Smith said.

No other passengers were involved, though some of the passengers at the front of the plane went to see if they could be of assistance before police arrived, Smith said.

A few hours later, the flight was able to take off and arrived at SFO early Thursday morning, Smith said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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