LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Federal charges have been filed against a California man accused of trying to break into the cockpit of a flight from Los Angeles International Airport.
According to a criminal complaint, Delta Flight 386 was on its way to Nashville June 4 when Asiel Christian Norton began banging on the cockpit door and yelling, "We need to land this plane."
When a flight attendant attempted to intervene, Norton allegedly pushed the attendant, prompting other passengers to get involved. Video from the flight showed flight attendants and passengers wrestling with the man, tackling him and ultimately restraining him.
The plane made an emergency landing in Albuquerque where the 43-year-old Venice man was taken into custody and charged with interfering with a member of a flight crew.
Norton will remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for June 10. He is facing charges of interfering with a flight attendant in the performance of their duties, or to lessen their ability to perform those duties, by assault or intimidation.
"We take all threats to the safety of air travelers very seriously, and we will vigorously enforce the laws intended to protect air travelers and others placed in danger by breaches in flight security," Fred J. Federici, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, said in a statement. "I am also grateful for the actions of those involved in this incident who helped ensure a safe outcome for the travelers on the airplane."
There were no reported injuries and the remaining passengers were able to continue to Nashville on a different flight.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case with assistance from the Albuquerque Police department.
If convicted, Norton faces up to 20 years in prison.
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