Delta passenger jet makes unscheduled stop after onboard disturbance
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) – A Delta airliner bound for California was diverted to Shreveport with an escort of two fighter planes Wednesday after a passenger passed a threatening note to a flight attendant, the FBI said.
Flight 357, with 148 people aboard from Atlanta to Los Angeles, landed safely after what the airline described as a ”passenger incident.”
Edward A. Stephenson, 36, was arrested and charged with interfering with a flight crew member and attendants, FBI spokeswoman Sheila Thorne said.
She refused to provide details of the note, but said it was deemed threatening. The Boeing 757 reported a problem at 2:43 p.m. and landed 26 minutes later.
Stephenson appeared disoriented when he was taken off the plane, police said. Thorne said prosecutors planned to seek a mental evaluation of the suspect.
Delta spokeswoman Cindi Kurczewski said there were 139 passengers and nine crew members aboard the jetliner. She said the plane was diverted ”due to a passenger incident,” but referred questions to authorities. It was unclear where the two F-15 fighter planes took off from.
The flight continued on to Los Angeles less than two hours after landing.
On Monday, two F-16s were sent to escort an American Airlines jetliner to Chicago after a deranged man burst into the cockpit. Passengers tackled him, and the flight landed without incident.
One day later, a passenger on the same American flight from Los Angeles became intoxicated and unruly, striking a flight attendant. The FBI said the 31-year-old Australian was forced into his seat and several passengers helped guard him until the plane landed in Chicago.
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