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Saudi teen pleads not guilty to allegations he disrupted plane crew, spoke of Osama bin Laden
PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) ' A 19-year-old from Saudi Arabia pleaded not guilty in Oregon on Friday to interfering with a plane crew.
Authorities said he forced a plane to make an emergency landing when he lit an electronic cigarette, mentioned Osama bin Laden and tried to hit fellow passengers
A lawyer for Yazeed Mohammed A. Abunayyan told a judge his client suffers from unspecified mental health issues that require care at the Multnomah County Detention Center.
U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Janice Stewart ordered Abunayyan held in jail as a flight risk and set a trial date of April 24, saying she believes Abunayyan's mental health issues will be dealt with "in due course."
According to court records, an attendant aboard a Continental Airlines flight to Houston on Tuesday asked Abunayyan to stop smoking an electronic cigarette, but he refused. He's also accused of yelling profanities and throwing punches at the flight attendant and several passengers. Authorities say Abunayyan also was "singing or speaking about" Osama bin Laden and his hatred of women.
Abunayyan's cousin Fahad Alsubaie told the Medford Mail Tribune that Abunayyan suffers from schizophrenia and hadn't taken his medication for about three weeks.