March 17, 2000
Bon Voyage


Passenger Arraigned After Inflight Attack on Jet Pilot

(03-17) 05:56 PST SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Passengers said today that they were terrified by a man who muttered incoherently as he roamed the aisles of their commercial jet, then attacked a pilot in the cockpit. Their fear, however, may have saved the day: They watched the man closely and tackled him before he could reach the plane's controls.

``Fortunately all the guys moved quick and he ain't dead and we're not dead,'' said passenger Robert Benjamin, 56, of West Linn, Ore., who helped restrain the assailant until landing. ``I was scared to death.''

Federal authorities were holding Peter L. Bradley Jr., 40, of Blue Springs, Mo., at a San Francisco-area hospital, where he was being treated for bruises and facial abrasions. After the scuffle, the co-pilot needed eight stitches to close a cut to his hand.

Police could not explain the motive for the attack on Alaska Airlines flight 259 from Puerto Vallarta to San Francisco on Thursday evening. Sgt. Joe Reilly said Bradley had not tried to hijack the plane, but did threaten to kill people on board the MD-83 jet. He speculated that Bradley might have been on drugs or alcohol, or in need of psychiatric medication.

The plane was carrying 43 passengers and 5 crew members, according to Alaska Airlines.

Bradley was speaking nonsense during the flight, took off his shirt and paced the aisle bare chested, said Donnie Benjamin, 52, the wife of Mr. Benjamin, after they landed in Portland, Ore. At one point, Bradley said, ``It's not what's on the floor, it's not the love you lost,'' recalled Mrs. Benjamin.

``What really scared me was when he tried to open up an exit,'' said Chris Honochick, 37, of Salem, Ore., who also helped tackle Bradley ...

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I'm going down tomorrow  ...  I just know it. (I only hope they serve the in-flight snack first: I'd hate to die on an empty stomach.)

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"I'm going to miss you," David said in the car this morning, as we were driving to work. "I just want that stated for the record." He's coming down with another cold, and he sounded sniffly and wistful. I put my hand on his knee, and we hand-held the rest of the drive into Oakland.

I feel guilty, leaving him here alone when he's sick, but he understands. I've gotta go be a *Mom* for a few days.

(But maybe you can do me a favor. Throw 'DRaftervoi' onto your Buddy List, and if you see him wandering around AOL this weekend, tell him to get his adorable butt back into bed. Thanks.)

See everybody in a few days.

I hope.