Judy Orihuela, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Miami, said the man was identified as Pablo Moreira, 28, a Uruguay banker. Moreira is in the custody of Argentine police and FBI agents, Orihuela said. He will be returned later Thursday to Miami, where he will be charged with interfering with a flight crew, Orihuela said.
Passenger Jan Boyer said he was sleeping when a commotion awoke him and he got out of his seat to investigate.
"I faced an individual who was basically kicking the door of the cockpit in sort of a kung-fu style," Boyer said. "I said, 'What are you doing?' And he said, 'I want to talk to the captain.'
"The cockpit door is divided into two sections, and the lower section actually opens up ... and he had actually inserted himself, his torso into the cockpit," Boyer said. He said he and other passengers jumped on the man, and the plane's co-pilot then hit the man "bluntly on the head" with the ax.
"This led to a lot of blood all over the place," Boyer said. He said the man then was dragged out of the cockpit and restrained.
Officials said Moreira was not carrying a weapon and did not appear to be drinking.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway