SAN FRANCISCO -- A judge dismissed all charges against a man who stormed the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines jetliner two years ago in a bizarre case blamed on encephalitis.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup signed an order Thursday dismissing all charges against construction contractor Peter Bradley of Blue Springs, Mo., after confirming Bradley had completed a diversion program of medical treatment and 200 hours of community service.
Prosecutors agreed to the program after determining Bradley, 41, was suffering from a rare outbreak of encephalitis and didn't know what he was doing during the March 16, 2000, flight.
Faced federal charges
He had faced federal charges of endangering and intimidating flight crew members, and could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison if convicted.
During the flight from Mexico to San Francisco, Bradley began babbling incoherently, wandering from seat to seat and stripping off his clothes.
His agitation increased, passengers said, until he broke into the cockpit, threatened the pilots and grabbed for the controls. The pilot momentarily lost control of the jet as the co-pilot fended off the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Bradley with an ax. Some of the 41 passengers aboard tackled and eventually restrained him.
Defense attorney Joyce Ladar said Bradley continues to work as a contractor in the Kansas City area.