A man is being charged with assaulting and intimidating a flight attendant after allegedly trying to open a passenger door mid-flight.
A witness on the plane who recorded the scene said that passengers held the individual, and a flight attendant used a coffee pot to subdue him.
It happened on a Washington DC-bound American Airlines flight from Los Angeles.
“Juan Rivas created a disturbance on the plane [involving plasticware],” the Department of Justice said, “that escalated when he walked up to the cockpit area.”
“Rivas allegedly grabbed the handles used to manipulate the forward starboard aircraft exit door.”
Afterward, the plane made an emergency landing in Kansas City. The FBI then came on board to interview passengers.
“We witnessed another dangerous, life-threatening incident on an American Airlines flight,” The Association of Professional Flight Attendants shared in a statement on Twitter.
“This violent behavior must stop. APFA will continue to collaborate with other Flight Attendant and Customer Service Agent Unions, the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, and Congress to ensure these offenders are prosecuted to the full extent of the law with appropriate fines, criminal penalties, and applicable flying bans.”
If convicted, the suspect could face up to 20 years in prison.