Flight Diverted After Former Employee Threatened To 'Take The Plane Down'

By Bill Galluccio

June 12, 2021

Commercial aircraft cabin with rows of seats down the aisle
Photo: Getty Images

A Delta flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta had to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma City after a former employee threatened to "take the plane down."

The man, who is in his 20s, became unruly and tried to open the cockpit door. He got into a physical altercation with crew members and passengers, who were able to subdue him.

He was taken into custody when the plane landed and brought to the hospital with minor injuries. Police said the suspect showed "signs of mental health issues" and was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. The case was handed over to the FBI, which will decide what charges the suspect will face.

"Thanks to the crew and passengers of Delta Flight 1730 (LAX to ATL) who assisted in detaining an unruly passenger as the flight diverted to Oklahoma City (OKC)," Delta Air Lines said in a statement. "The aircraft landed without incident, and the passenger was removed by law enforcement. We apologize to our customers for the delay and any additional inconvenience this caused."

This was the third incident of an unruly passenger on a Delta flight flying out of Los Angeles in the past two weeks. On Friday, a Delta flight heading to New York was diverted to Detroit Metropolitan Airport because of a "customer issue." Last week, a flight from Los Angeles to Detroit had to be diverted when a passenger tried to break into the cockpit.

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