Fighter Jets Escort Plane Bound For LAX To Tucson After Passenger Disturbance
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles-bound plane from San Antonio had to be diverted to Arizona after authorities say a passenger got into a confrontation with the flight crew.
Cellphone video shot by Ryan Healy, a passenger, captured the dramatic end on the Delta Airlines jet to a nerve-racking flight as authorities removed a passenger who was causing trouble in the air.
The unidentified man was taken away, while a man who was seated next to him, informed the officer that they were flying together.
Passengers say the trouble started earlier on the flight, which left from San Antonio, and was expected to travel directly to Los Angeles International Airport. Instead, the Delta regional jet was forced to land in Tucson.
Passengers who de-planed in Los Angeles later Wednesday described the frightening moments:
"He was just aimlessly walking," said Healy of the unidentified man, adding that eventually he stopped near the cockpit door.
Andrea Constantini, another passenger, said the man was asked several times to go back to his seat, but didn't comply.
"They asked several times and he was acting weird and everybody started getting a little nervous and uncomfortable and I think she realized that something could happen," Constantini said.
Passenger Kevin Tanna said the man was slurring, adding: "He was hard to understand. He didn't sound coherent at all."
Two F-16 jets scrambled from a nearby air force base and escorted the plane to the airport. Healy captured images of the fighter jets as they landed.
Passengers were re-screened in Tucson and took off a short time later. The FBI would only confirm that an incident occurred on-board the flight but have not released any additional information about the suspect.
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