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Southwest passenger allegedly confronts crew, flight diverted

Southwest Airlines
AP Photo
Southwest Airlines
AP Photo

(CBS/KCBS/AP) AMARILLO, Texas - A Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Kansas City made an emergency landing in Texas on Tuesday after a man's rowdy conduct reportedly included a confrontation with the crew.

The 29-year-old passenger from Florida, Ali Reza Shahsavari, was arrested on a charge of interfering with a flight crew and taken to the Randall County Jail in Cayon, Texas.

Flight 3683 left Los Angeles International Airport at 10:40 am and was nearing its destination when the flight crew made an urgent call to Amarillo's airport requesting emergency landing clearance, reports the Los Angeles Times. At first, authorities claimed the man had tried to break into the cockpit but Amarillo's aviation director Patrick Rhodes said later he was "not trying to break into the cockpit, but was unruly and confronted the cabin crew."

One of the passengers on board, Doug Oerding, told Amarillo Globe-News that Shahsavari was screaming obscenities at other passengers. He then went to the bathroom at the back of the plane and continued to create disorder. "All of us guys were looking at him like are we going to have to do something," Oerding said. A flight attendant supposedly calmed him down. When the plane landed, he was immediately arrested and taken into custody by police.

The FBI stated that primary investigations have concluded the incident did not seem to be tied to anything terrorism related.  The CBS station in Los Angeles reports that Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Sarah Horowitz said that currently more information is being collected.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines spokesman Brad Hawkins said the 136 passengers and 5 crew members  on the plane sustained no injuries. After a security sweep, the flight was cleared to continue on. The flight later landed safely at its final destination in Kansas City.