72 Year Old Man Says He Doesn’t Know Why Emirates Beat Him on Flight to Chicago

A 72 year old man taking his first-ever flight on Emirates from Lagos to Dubai to Chicago last week was hospitalized after being “bound and beaten” on the flight.

David Ukesone was flying on EK235 to meet his family after receiving a US Green Card. They turned up to meet the man but he didn’t get off the plane with other passengers. He was removed by police officers who were told the man had been unruly, though no charges were filed.

His speech did not come easy, and it appeared he also could not walk without being assisted.

With bruises and scars on his wrists and ankles, Ukesone said he was tied and bound.

“I don’t know where to start because they beat me everywhere, and my eyes. Now I cannot even stand properly,” he said.

…Ogoke said that’s when an employee of the airline struck Ukesone and tied him down when he asked questions, even dragging him through the aisle at one point.

“The doctors report is consistent with a rope being tied and assault. As a matter of fact, he’s still disoriented,” Ogoke said.

He says he doesn’t understand what happened to him or why. His lawyer says he got up to use the bathroom and return to the wrong seat. He was restrained “for 8 hours without food or water,” and turned over to authorities on arrival in Chicago who took him to the hospital.

According to Emirates,

Emirates can confirm that a passenger on flight EK235 from Dubai to Chicago on 23 January, had to be restrained by cabin crew due to unruly behaviour during the flight. The passenger was handed over to the authorities on arrival in Chicago. The safety of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance and will not be compromised. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the other passengers on the flight for their understanding, in particular the individuals who had assisted our crew during the flight.

It sounds like a misunderstanding that may have spiraled into an overreaction.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. If you look at him you can see why police state thugs thought they could get away with beating him.

    Chicago Aviation authorities should investigate and revoke their license to fly there if they don’t give good answers. We don’t have a dictatorship here yet.

  2. Let’s just take Emirates’ side of the story for a moment.

    If the man was so unruly that he had to be restrained, why didn’t Emirates file a police report and have him arrested at ORD? Or, if this was 8 hours from ORD (flying over Europe) if the passenger was so unruly he had to be tied up, why didn’t they divert to an airport in Europe?

    Yup, looks very fishy on EK’s side.

  3. Was the guy unruly because he was drunk, or mixing meds with alcohol? Sounds a lot like that, especially if he returned to the wrong seat, and claims he can’t remember his behaviour which led to him being restrained.
    If the situation was then under control, there would be no need for an unscheduled stop somewhere in Europe, which would have led to inconvenience to all other passengers, plus major expense to the airline with landing fees and time taken to offload his baggage (these guys take even more luggage than the average American, although they do not try to bring it all on as cabin bags).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *