A shouting, heavily tattooed man allegedly pounded on a cockpit door before other passengers managed to subdue him and the pilot diverted the plane.
The American Airlines flight from Ontario California, which was headed to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, diverted to Lubbock in Texas over the disruption, the Dallas Morning News reported. Officers of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s office were waiting.
Jerry Ba Nguyen, 24, of San Jose, California, was at last report being held in the Lubbock County jail on a charge of making a terroristic threat.
American Airlines officials told local TV channel KXAS-TV that the flight diverted to Lubbock and landed there about 5am.
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal quoted Steve Nicholson, Lubbock airport’s deputy director for safety and operations, saying the passenger “was not complying with the flight crew’s directions,” was reportedly making suicidal statements and pacing the aisle of the plane.
The captain considered it prudent to divert the flight.
Police arrested Nguyen, took him to hospital for evaluation and moved him to Lubbock County jail later in the day.
The flight continued to its scheduled destination, arriving an hour late.
Written by Peter Needham