Unruly Passenger Hit With Coffee Pot, Flight Diverted To Kansas City

By Hannah DeRuyter

February 18, 2022

American Airlines Boeing 767-300/ER
Photo: Getty Images

An American Airlines flight was diverted to Kansas City after an unruly passenger tried to open a door while the flight was in the air.

According to AP News, 50-year-old Juan Remberto Rivas was taken into custody on Sunday (February 13) after he caused a scene on a flight from Los Angeles to Washington, forcing the flight to make an emergency landing at Kansas City International Airport.

A federal affidavit released on Monday (February 14) states that Rivas was allegedly causing a disturbance on the plane. He walked to the cockpit area, picked up plastic silverware and held it "like a shank." It was also noted that he grabbed a small bottle of champagne and tried to break it on the counter, then pushed and kicked a service cart into a flight attendant.

After that scene, the affidavit added that Rivas attempted to grab the handle of an emergency door and try to open it. A flight attendant tried to stop him by hitting him in the head with a coffee pot twice; then, multiple passengers attempted to help the flight attendant stop him.

Among the passengers that helped control Rivas was a police officer who was able to pull him away from the door. Three other passengers helped restrain him, one punched him in the jaw and another grabbed his neck and pulled him to the floor.

The affidavit said the passengers and flight attendants restrained Rivas by securing his hands and feet with zip ties and duct tape. It was also stated that Rivas was treated for a wound on his head.

"We're grateful to our crew members, who are consistently dedicated to the safety and care of our customers and who handled the circumstances with the utmost skill and professionalism," American Airlines said in a statement.

Rivas was charged with one count of interference with a flight attendant.

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