A man travelling on a flight from Paris to Atlanta terrified a woman passenger by sexually molesting her while she slept.
He then performed a 'karate style kick' to the throat of a federal sky marshal who came to detain him for his behaviour.
The man, Brian Pomykala, has now been charged in a federal court for sexual assault.
According to investigators, Pomykala was on board a Delta Airlines flight last Thursday when he woke up a sleeping female passenger by fondling her and 'indicating that he needed some sex'.
The woman alerted a flight attendant, who notified federal air marshals on board.
Authorities say he then struck one of the marshals with a karate-style thrust to the throat.
The marshal placed Pomykala in a headlock while another handcuffed him.
He was released on a $10,000 bond on Friday.
His attorney declined to comment.
Last week, Delta Airlines was voted as the world's most admired airline by Fortune magazine.
An airline spokesman said today: 'Our crews handled this situation with their usual utmost professionalism... We are cooperating fully with law enforcement in this matter.'
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