Conrad Hilton accused of assaulting attendants who cuffed him on plane

Story highlights

  • Conrad Hilton, younger brother of Paris Hilton, is free on $100,000 bond
  • He's charged with interfering with flight crew members and faces up to 20 years in prison
  • He allegedly disabled a smoke detector, called passengers "peasants" and punched a bulkhead

Los Angeles (CNN)Conrad Hilton, the younger brother of celebrity heiress Paris Hilton, allegedly threatened and intimidated flight attendants on a British Airways flight from London to Los Angeles last summer, using profanity, smoking in a bathroom and calling passengers "peasants," federal authorities said this week.

Hilton, 20, surrendered himself to the FBI on Tuesday -- charged with interfering with flight crew members -- and appeared in court later that day, said spokesman Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney's Office. Hilton was freed on $100,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on March 5.
The federal charge alleges that Hilton "knowingly assaulted and intimidated flight attendants of the aircraft and, in doing so, interfered with the performance of the duties of the flight attendants and lessened the ability of the flight attendants to perform their duties."
    Hilton and his attorney couldn't be immediately reached for comment.
    If convicted, Hilton could face up to 20 years in prison, authorities said.
    On the July 31, 2014, flight, a flight attendant told the FBI that Hilton appeared to be "under the influence of drugs because of his erratic behavior while walking through the cabin," court papers said.

    "They are ... peasants"

    Hilton left his seat five minutes after takeoff, even though the "fasten seat belt" sign was still on, authorities said. Another flight attendant said Hilton rose from his seat at least 20 times during the 10½-hour flight, court documents said.
    When Hilton became enraged because a flight attendant was following him, he shouted several times that "I am going to f------ kill you!" and used other vulgarities, court papers said.
    Passengers became frightened and disturbed, authorities said.
    Hilton yelled several times, saying "I will f------ own anyone on this flight; they are f------ peasants."
    Hilton also accused the flight attendants of "taking the peasants' side" and then said he was angry because he had just broken up with a girlfriend, court papers said. He bragged that he was already banned by other airlines.

    'My father will pay this out'

    "Hilton frequently lamented that he wanted to smoke marijuana on the plane," according to an affidavit by FBI agent David Gates.
    Hilton also allegedly punched the bulkhead next to an attendant's head, missing his face by about 4 inches, court papers said.
    He also allegedly told a flight attendant that "I could get you all fired in five minutes. I know your boss!"
    "My father will pay this out, he has done it before. Dad paid $300,000 last time," Hilton allegedly told a flight attendant, according to court papers.
    Hilton's father is Rick Hilton -- who is a grandson of the Hilton Hotel empire's founder, Conrad Nicholson Hilton -- and is a partner in a real estate development firm in Beverly Hills, California. Rick Hilton and his wife of more than 30 years, Kathy, are parents of four children, Paris, Nicky, Barron and Conrad, making them the great-grandchildren of the hotel empire, according to Rick Hilton's webpage.

    Smoke detector disabled

    At some point during the flight, the attendant saw Hilton go into a bathroom and smelled cigarette smoke coming from it, authorities said.
    The flight's pilot, who was second-in-command to the captain, "noticed the smoke detector above the bathroom ceiling had been stuffed with paper towels, apparently to prevent the smoke alarm from sounding," court papers said.
    The pilot later confronted Hilton, and Hilton surrendered a used pack of cigarettes and a lighter, authorities said.
    Hilton returned to his seat and fell asleep.
    The captain authorized crew members to form a "restraint team" to restrain Hilton before he woke up, authorities said in court papers.
    The crew used a blanket and handcuffs on Hilton about 75 minutes before the plane landed, authorities said.

    "I could get all of their jobs taken away"

    He awoke while being restrained and began screaming obscenities, court documents said.
    "As Hilton was being restrained, he told the flight attendants he was a model and that they were 'going to ruin my career,' " the affidavit said.
    Later, in an interview with the FBI the same day, Hilton said he started his travels in Mykonos, Greece, had a connection in Athens, and then traveled to London, authorities said.
    He took a sleeping pill before boarding the flight to Los Angeles, court papers said.
    Hilton admitted to calling people "peasants" on the flight, but he "denied having a confrontation with a flight attendant near the start of the flight but acknowledged having other issues with flight attendants," the affidavit said.
    Hilton allegedly told the FBI agent: "I told all of them I could get all of their jobs taken away in less than thirty seconds," the affidavit said.
    When Gates, the FBI agent, read federal law to Hilton, he interrupted him and stated: "I did intimidate. But, through defense. He came up to me with his nose," referring to a crew member, the affidavit said.