LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Mexican national was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison for trying to reach the cockpit of a plane taxiing at LAX and assaulting the flight attendant who tried to stop him.
Luis Armando Victoria Dominguez, 34, of La Paz, Mexico, was also ordered to pay $20,132 in restitution. He had pleaded guilty in October 2021 to a count of interference with flight crew members and flight attendant.
According to federal prosecutors, Dominguez was a passenger on United Airlines flight 5365, which was being operated by SkyWest Airlines, that was taking off from Los Angeles and was headed to Salt Lake City on June 25 of last year. The plane had pushed back from the gate when Dominguez "sprinted" to the front of the plane and "began banging on the cockpit door and manipulating the locked doorknob," according to an FBI affidavit.
When he couldn't get into the cockpit, the affidavit says Dominguez pushed past the flight attendant and went for the emergency exit, where he managed to partially open the door and caused the emergency slide to partially deploy. Prosecutors say the pilot had to immediately shut off the engine in order to keep the slide from being sucked into it.
When a nearby passenger tried to restrain him, Dominguez managed to get free and jump from the plane, but missed the emergency slide, prosecutors said.
"Once...Dominguez landed on the tarmac, he began crawling away from the aircraft," the affidavit said. "His right leg appeared to be broken."
Prosecutors say Dominguez's actions endangered the lives of countless others and damaged the plane, taking it out of service for four days.
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