Magistrate may grant bail if passenger's condition clarified

Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A man accused of barging into the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines jet and attacking the crew was kept in jail Wednesday, but a federal magistrate said he may grant bail once he learns more about Peter Bradley's medical condition.

Bradley, 39, from Blue Springs, Mo., is charged with interfering with crew members and attendants on last Thursday's flight from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to San Francisco. Witnesses said he lunged for the controls, cursing and shouting ''I'm going to kill you,'' and was wrestled away by the pilot and subdued by fellow passengers.

A co-pilot who fended Bradley off with an ax suffered a cut hand.

Bradley, a carpenter with no criminal record or history of mental health problems, stood quietly in court while a federal prosecutor argued for his detention without bail until trial. He faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

No one has figured out what caused the violence, and ''there is nothing this court can rely upon to guarantee that this defendant will not suffer a relapse,'' said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hall.

He said Bradley ''acted out'' in a marshal's van after a court hearing Friday, pulled out his stitches and was kept in a hospital overnight.

Hall also said a court-appointed psychologist examined Bradley and concluded he was suffering delirium, from undetermined causes.

Newly hired defense lawyer Jerrold Ladar told reporters Bradley has little recollection of the incident and doesn't know why it happened. He said Bradley's wife and son, who attended the hearing, and other family members also have no explanation.

Ladar said tests performed soon after Bradley's arrest turned up no signs of illegal drugs or alcohol.

''He's a peaceable man, a man who's devoted to his family,'' with testimonial letters from 19 residents of Blue Springs including the police chief, Ladar said.

He told U.S. Magistrate Bernard Zimmerman that Bradley may have had a bad reaction to prescription drugs he takes for high blood pressure. He said Bradley wold pose no danger if released on bail in the custody of his stepfather, a local resident, and required to stay in the home and wear an electronic monitoring device.

Zimmerman said he wasn't prepared to grant bail immediately but may do so if Bradley behaves for the rest of the week, and if further tests shed light on his medical condition. He scheduled another hearing for Friday.

''We're still in a stabilizing situation,'' the magistrate said. ''There may be some conditions (of release) in which his movements are controlled.''

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