Delta flight diverted to Oklahoma City: Off-duty worker said 'he would take the plane down,' police
( Fox )
A Delta employee is in custody Saturday morning after allegedly causing a ruckus during one of the airline’s flights Friday night to Atlanta, where he said out loud that "he would take the plane down," Oklahoma City Police tell Fox News.
The incident forced the pilot to divert the aircraft to Oklahoma City following its departure from Los Angeles, flight records show. The man behind the chaos – an off-duty Delta employee in his late 20s – received medical attention after being removed from the plane and the FBI is now taking over the investigation, according to Oklahoma City Police.
"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)," Delta said in a statement. "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," Delta added.
A video purportedly captured of the incident shows several people involved in a struggle at the front of the darkened plane.
"All three of them! All three of them!" a man could be heard angrily shouting, before adding, "No, they are the enemies."
Audible thuds could be heard as a person is then restrained on the ground, while another voice says "get him down, keep him down."
Benjamin Curlee, a passenger who says he was on the flight, said in a TikTok video that an off-duty flight attendant first made an announcement over the loudspeaker for those on board to take their seats and prepare to put on their oxygen masks.
"I was at the back of the plane. A long 2 minutes after that first announcement the pilot made an announcement and said ‘all able-bodied men please come to the front as there is an emergency, come to the front’" Curlee said in his video.
Curlee said he then made his way about halfway up the plane before being told to return to his seat as the situation was now under control.
In another video purportedly taken as the man was being restrained – which contains graphic language – a voice could be heard yelling "Help me! Help me! Jesus, help me! Somebody help me!"
"I need everyone to take their seats right now with the exception of this group right here!" a man appearing to be wearing a flight attendant uniform then yells to the rest of the cabin.
Footage later shared by Curlee shows law enforcement walking through the terminal of Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers Airport toward one of its gates after the plane had landed.
It was not immediately clear what job the man who was detained has with Delta. No charges have been announced against him yet.
Data from the flight-tracking website FlightAware indicates that the plane spent around 3 and a half hours in Oklahoma City before leaving for its intended destination of Atlanta.