A Delta Airlines flight from L.A. to Atlanta was thrown into chaos on Friday when one man tried to open the emergency exit in mid-air. According to a report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, things got so chaotic that average passengers were enlisted to help detain the main and stop him. Videos circulating on social media seem to corroborate the story.
The harrowing episode played out on Delta Airlines Flight 1730 on Friday, June 11. The plane left Los Angeles, California bound for Atlanta, Georgia but was forced to stop in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma instead. Crew members on the flight asked passengers for help in restraining a man who attacked two flight attendants and threatened to bring the plane down. Witnesses said that he tried to open emergency exits as well, although Delta's official statement to the AJC denies that. Still, several people were required to leap into action to keep the plane up.
I am on this flight, here’s another look pic.twitter.com/ItsqC37F7H— Steve Denton (@SRDenton) June 12, 2021
Oklahoma City police said that the man exhibited "signs of mental health issues" once they got him in custody. He was restrained with some help from an off-duty pilot and transported to an Oklahoma City hospital. There, he was questioned by the FBI as well as local authorities.
"Thanks to the crew and passengers of Delta Flight 1730 (LAX to ATL) who assisted in detaining an unruly passenger as the flight diverted to Oklahoma City (OKC)," a Delta statement said on the story. "The aircraft landed without incident and the passenger was removed by law enforcement. We apologize to our customers for the delay and any additional inconvenience this caused."
Police reportedly intended to charge the man with assault and battery but said that they had turned his case over to the FBI instead. It is not clear what federal charges he might face. Meanwhile, police searched the plane and found no issues, so it was allowed to take off again on Saturday morning and get to Atlanta.
Videos taken on board the plane have taken social media by storm. Many commenters were horrified by what they saw, though others weighed in on what the best response would have been. Some thought that Delta owed the passengers some kind of compensation — particularly those who stepped in to restrain the man.
UPDATE: Raw passenger video shows the aftermath of a man who attempted to breach the cockpit of a Delta Airlines flight on its way to Nashville from Los Angeles on Friday. pic.twitter.com/2VDYp4Y3Tj— WSMV News4 Nashville (@WSMV) June 5, 2021
Strangely, this is the second viral video of a violent man being restrained on a Delta Airlines flight just this month. The other was taken on a flight from Los Angeles to Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, June 4. At that time, a man was restrained by zip ties after trying to rush the cockpit.