LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Mexican National has been charged after allegedly approaching the cockpit of a SkyWest Airlines flight taxiing at Los Angeles International Airport Friday evening before opening an emergency exit and jumping to the tarmac, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.
Luis Antonio Victoria Dominguez, 33, of La Paz, Mexico, has been charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants. The charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
According to a criminal complaint, Victoria Dominguez was a passenger on United Airlines flight 5365 — operated by SkyWest Airlines — scheduled to fly from LAX to Salt Lake City. Soon after the plane started taxiing to the runway, Victoria Dominguez allegedly "sprinted" to the front of the aircraft past a seated flight attendant and "began banging on the cockpit door and manipulating the locked doorknob," according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit filed with the complaint.
When he failed to get into the cockpit, Victoria Dominguez is accused of pushing past the flight attendant and going to the emergency exit on the right side of the plan where he opened the door and caused the emergency slide to deploy, according to the affidavit. A nearby passenger attempted to restrain Victoria Dominguez, but he managed to get away and jump from the aircraft, missing the emergency slide and landing on the tarmac.
"Once Victoria Dominguez landed on the tarmac, he began crawling away from the aircraft," according to the FBI affidavit. "His right leg appeared broken."
Victoria Dominguez, who suffered a broken leg when he fell to the tarmac and underwent surgery, is expected to make his initial appearance later this week in United States District Court.
The FBI is investigating the case and received "substantial assistance from the Los Angeles Airport Police Department."
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