Antonio Ynoa, 22, was arrested early Sunday on federal assault charges. He appeared briefly Monday at a Brooklyn courthouse, where a judge approved a bail deal struck by his lawyer and prosecutors.
Afterward, Ynoa's family members told reporters that he has mood swings because of brain damage caused by a 2005 traffic accident involving a police car in Brooklyn. They also suggested he had been roughed up by an off-duty New York Police Department officer credited with subduing him on JetBlue Flight 832 from the Dominican Republic.
"He's a very calm person," said his brother, Luis Lizardo. But he also described his brother as sometimes being "very hyper."
According to a criminal complaint, the flight was en route to John F. Kennedy International Airport when a flight attendant saw Ynoa "acting erratically and banging on the armrest of his seat."
Other passengers noticed that he was drinking directly from a duty-free bottle of alcohol, authorities said.
During a confrontation, Ynoa punched the flight attendant three times in the face, the complaint alleged. Prosecutors say he also tried to head-butt and bite the attendant before he was restrained.