Washington Man Sentenced for Combative Behavior on Flight to Anchorage, Alaska

Get the details of the case where a Washington man was sentenced for combative behavior on a flight to Anchorage, Alaska. Learn about the incident, arrest, sentencing, and the importance of air travel safety. Warning to potential offenders and contact information for reporting incidents.

In a recent case, a Washington man has been sentenced for exhibiting combative behavior on a flight to Anchorage, Alaska. The incident occurred on March 1, 2023, when Marc Hetsler, 43, laid down in the aisle of Aleutian Flight SRY 1102 and refused to let the flight crew pass. Hetsler then became aggressive towards the crew and an off-duty police officer had to step in to assist. Other passengers also helped restrain Hetsler for the remainder of the flight. He was subsequently arrested and pleaded guilty to charges of Fear Assault in violation of federal laws. This case highlights the commitment of U.S. authorities to ensuring the safety and security of air travel, sending a warning to potential offenders and emphasizing the importance of following regulations for the benefit of all passengers.


Air travel safety is of utmost importance to ensure the well-being of passengers and the smooth operation of commercial airlines. Incidents that compromise the safety and security of air travel not only put the lives of passengers at risk but also disrupt the entire aviation industry. It is essential to address such incidents promptly and hold offenders accountable for their actions in order to maintain public trust in air travel.

Summary of the Incident

On March 1, 2023, a Washington man named Marc Hetsler, aged 43, was a passenger on Aleutian Flight SRY 1102 from Dutch Harbor, Alaska to Anchorage, Alaska. During the flight, Hetsler laid down in the aisle and refused to let the flight crew pass. He then exhibited combative behavior and acted aggressively towards a crewmember. An off-duty police officer who happened to be on the flight intervened to assist the flight crew. Hetsler also confronted the officer. Other passengers came together to subdue Hetsler, and he was restrained for the remainder of the flight.

Arrest and Plea

Upon landing at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Hetsler was taken into federal custody by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Eight days after his arrest, on March 9, 2023, Hetsler pleaded guilty to an Information charging Fear Assault in the Special Aircraft Jurisdiction of the United States. This charge is based on 49 U.S.C. § 46506 and 18 U.S.C. § 113. Hetsler acknowledged his misconduct and the potential consequences it could have had on the safety of the flight and the well-being of the crew and passengers.


In light of his guilty plea and the specific circumstances of the incident, Hetsler was sentenced to time served for the eight days he spent in federal custody. This sentence serves as a reminder that disruptive behavior on flights is taken seriously and has legal consequences. It also highlights the commitment of the justice system to maintain the safety and security of air travel.

Importance of Air Travel Safety

The incident involving Marc Hetsler underscores the criticality of air travel safety. Passengers have the right to expect a secure and peaceful journey, free from threats or harm. The actions of individuals who disrupt the safety and orderliness of flights not only jeopardize the well-being of their fellow passengers but also pose a risk to the entire aviation system. It is crucial for both authorities and passengers to prioritize air travel safety and work together to prevent and address any potential threats.

Warnings to Potential Offenders

This incident serves as a warning to anyone considering engaging in disruptive or combative behavior on flights. The consequences of such actions can be severe, ranging from criminal charges to incarceration. Offenders not only face legal repercussions but also put the safety and security of their fellow passengers at risk. It is essential for individuals to understand the serious implications of their actions and to comply with regulations and guidelines related to air travel.

Investigative Agencies

In the case of Marc Hetsler’s disruptive behavior on the flight, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) played a vital role in investigating the incident. The FBI worked alongside other law enforcement agencies to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and ensure a thorough understanding of the events that transpired. Their prompt and effective response was instrumental in bringing the offender to justice and mitigating potential harm caused by his actions.


The prosecution of Marc Hetsler was led by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Will Taylor and Karen Vandergaw. Their expertise in federal law and commitment to justice enabled them to build a strong case against Hetsler, leading to his guilty plea and subsequent sentencing. The efforts of prosecutors play a crucial role in holding individuals accountable for their actions and reinforcing the importance of air travel safety.

Related Content

This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of air travel safety and the consequences of disruptive behavior during flights. Other related content includes the indictment of an Anchorage man on child pornography and attempted enticement charges, as well as the arrest and indictment of two Arizona men for trafficking fentanyl to Alaska. These cases highlight the commitment of law enforcement agencies to address various crimes that can potentially affect the safety and security of the public.

Contact Information

For further information or assistance related to air travel safety or incidents, you may contact the following authorities:

  • U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Alaska:

    • Main Office: 222 West 7th Avenue, Room 253, #9 Anchorage, Alaska 99513
    • Telephone: 907-271-5071
    • Fax Line: 907-271-3224
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):

    • Website: www.fbi.gov
    • Contact Information available on the FBI website

It is important to report any suspicious or potentially dangerous behavior to the appropriate authorities in order to maintain the safety and security of air travel for all passengers.