An Atlanta-bound Delta flight was diverted to Oklahoma City on Friday after an off-duty flight attendant made “terroristic threats” to take down the plane, police said.
The suspect, 34-year-old Stephon Jamar Duncan, was a passenger on Delta Flight 1730 when he became unruly and started making threats after the plane departed Los Angeles International Airport, according to police.
Passengers and flight crew subdued Duncan at the front of the plane after he reportedly used the intercom system to make an announcement.
In a video posted to Twitter, passenger Benjamin Curlee said the suspect had instructed everyone aboard the flight to take their seats and get ready to put on oxygen masks. Duncan then attempted to open the plane door, Curlee said.
In another video captured by passenger Steven Denton, a flight crew member can be heard at one point calling for all “strong males” to come to the front of the plane to “handle a problem passenger.” The video shows several people working to restrain Duncan in the center aisle.
“He had been acting really weird the entire time,” Denton said during an interview with MSNBC. “This guy was up and down the whole time. He was wearing a helmet. He basically walked up and down the row opening up every overhead bin.”
Law enforcement officials removed Duncan from the plane after it landed in Oklahoma City. The flight continued on to Atlanta after police searched and cleared the plane.
Duncan was transported to a hospital after he reported feeling chest pains and exhibited signs of mental health issues, police said.
The FBI is investigating the matter, and Duncan is expected to be charged with two counts of assault and battery for allegedly attacking at least two flight attendants, officials told KABC.
In a statement, Delta thanked the crew and passengers for detaining the “unruly” passenger.
“The aircraft landed without incident and the passenger was removed by law enforcement,” Delta said in its statement. “We apologize to our customers for the delay and any additional inconvenience this caused.”
Duncan’s arrest followed two other similar incidents aboard Delta flights in the past two weeks. Last week, a flight from L.A. to New York City was diverted to Detroit when a passenger became a threat. Earlier in the week, a flight from L.A. to Nashville, Tennessee, was diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico, after a passenger allegedly attempted to break into the plane’s cockpit midflight.