Man Charged After Trying To Open Emergency Exit Door On Flight From SLC

By Dani Medina

February 16, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

A man from Portland, Oregon, is facing federal charges after he tried to open an emergency exit door during a Delta flight from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Portland.

Michael Brandon Demarre, 32, is charged with threatening to interfere and interfering with a flight crew and attendants, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Demarre removed the plastic covering on the emergency exit handle and forcefully pulled on it. A flight attendant told him to stop touching the handle and asked him to move to the back of the plane. Demarre complied and went to the back, where he was physically restrained by the flight crew. According to The Register-Guard, the incident began about 20 minutes after takeoff. "The screeching of the wind and the change in pressure was felt by everyone," one passenger said.

Demarre told officers upon landing in Portland he created the disturbance so other passengers on the flight would record him as he shared his personal views. According to The Register-Guard which obtained a video of Demarre, he was sharing his beliefs on the COVID-19 vaccine. The video showed Demarre saying, "We're all being lied to, wake up!" and "The Earth is bleeding, the international community hates the United States of America!"

When Demarre was taken off the plane, videos show other passengers applauding.

Demarre made his first appearance in federal court Monday and was ordered detained pending further court proceedings. The case is being investigated by the Portland Police Bureau and the FBI.

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