Family claims elderly man beaten, restrained on Emirates flight to Chicago

CHICAGO -- The family of a 71-year-old man said he was tied up and beaten on an Emirates Airlines flight Chicago.

David Ukesone's family said he was punched in the face and restrained for hours without food and water on an Emirates flight from Dubai to O'Hare International Airport.

"He was helpless. He cannot even talk. They wounded him. They tied him. They restrained him while in the plane for eight hours," said his wife Edith Ukesone.

Customs and Border Protection said they got a call from Emirates about an unruly passenger on board, who the crew had restrained. When they got to O'Hare, customs officers escorted him to a waiting ambulance. Chicago police were present, but do not have a report.

Customs and Border Protection said in a statement, "You will need to speak directly with Emirates Airlines as this took place on their aircraft."

ABC7 Eyewitness News reached out to Emirates and haven not heard back.

Edith said her husband is getting better day by day. He can even stand up on his own for a few minutes at a time. But she and the rest of her family are waiting to hear from Emirates Airlines itself about why he was injured in the first place.

"He said they boxed him on his face. Even here you see he's swelled up. Then his two arms, he has bruises here," Edith said. "The way that they tied him, just like an animal. I don't know. Even an animal cannot be treated like that."
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.