A passenger sent video of the incident to CBS Sacramento. According to the airline officials, the incident began after the woman tried to smoke in the airplane bathroom and change the smoke detector.
"Our reports from Flight Attendants indicate a Customer violated federal laws by both smoking onboard an aircraft and by tampering with a smoke detector in an aircraft restroom," Southwest said in a statement to KOIN. "Our Crew enforced the regulation and that was followed by the passenger outburst."
There were 136 customers and crew on the flight, the airline said.
The man who filmed the video told CBS Sacramento that she started yelling after she was ordered to go back to her seat. She said she would kill everyone on the plane and demanded the pilot land.
The incident started with only 30 minutes left in the flight. The man, who wished not to be identified, told CBS Sacramento that passengers and crew helped keep the woman restrained.
Police were waiting in Sacramento to arrest the woman, who was identified as Valerie Curbelo, 24.
Curbelo told CBS Sacramento that she tried to smoke in the bathroom because of the "anxiety." She didn't say why she was anxious and did not know why she threatened everyone on the plane.
"It was not me. It was not me," Curbelo told the station.
Curbelo lives in the Portland area and didn't say why she was heading to Sacramento. She was charged with making criminal threats.
Photo credit: CBS Sacramento