Teen charged in flight ruckus pleads not guilty



PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Saudi Arabian teenager who authorities say caused a disturbance that forced a flight from Portland to return to the airport has pleaded not guilty to interfering with a plane crew.

Police say 19-year-old Yazeed Mohammed A. Abunayyan (ah-boo-NYE-an) tried to hit passengers, lit an electronic cigarette and mentioned Osama bin Laden during a Continental Airlines flight on Tuesday to Houston.

Abunayyan appeared in federal court in Portland on Friday.

His attorney, Phil Lewis, said Abunayyan has “mental health issues” that need to be addressed while he is being held at the Multnomah County Detention Center.

Stewart ordered Abunayyan held in jail as a flight risk.

A cousin told the Medford Mail Tribune that Abunayyan suffers from schizophrenia and hasn’t taken his medication for three weeks.