On Friday, a flight heading from Los Angeles to Nashville had to be diverted in Albuquerque, New Mexico after an unidentified Delta passenger attempted to breach the cockpit. But, the real star and hero was Black flight attendant Christopher Williams, who successfully detained and hog tied the unruly passenger.
Passengers on Delta flight 386 recorded most of the scary event. Luckily, the man was not successful in his attempt. Twitter user Jessica Robertson shared clips and described that the passenger was yelling “stop the plane.”
The FBI was alerted of the incident and police were waiting for the Delta passenger when the plane landed in New Mexico. No one was injured and there was no apparent threat to the public’s safety.
“The plane landed safely, and the passenger was removed by police and the FBI. He is in custody now,” Delta said in a statement.
Passengers praised crew member Williams for his quick thinking during the incident. He was able to hold the man down, hog tie him, calm him down while keeping others around him safe.
Just a few weeks ago, we reported that a Southwest Airlines flight attendant was assaulted after an unruly female passenger punched her teeth out and broke her nose. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) warned at the beginning of 2021, that there would likely be an increase in unruly plane passengers, especially as travel resumes globally.
In May, the FAA received 1,300 complaints from airlines about disruptive passengers this year and announced proposed civil penalties — some topping $30,000 — against more than a dozen passengers in recent weeks. The passengers can protest the penalties.
Under its zero-tolerance policy announced in January, the FAA says it no longer warns or counsels unruly passengers, it jumps straight to enforcement action. The FAA has power to levy civil penalties but is letting law enforcement decide whether to seek criminal charges against passengers.