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Flight to LA diverted to Oklahoma due to unruly passenger

Ariel Pennington
Posted at 4:11 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 17:11:28-05

OKLAHOMA CITY — (AP) — A flight from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles was diverted to Oklahoma City after an unruly passenger assaulted a flight attendant, police said.

An air marshal who was on board the Delta Air Lines flight had the passenger in custody when the flight landed Thursday night, Oklahoma City Police Capt. Arthur Gregory told TV station KFOR.

The Transportation Security Administration says the air marshal was also assaulted during the response and was injured but didn’t need medical attention.

The flight continued on to Los Angeles after the passenger was removed.

In a statement, Delta praised the “quick action and professionalism” of its crew and air marshals for their handling of the situation.

Police said the passenger was booked into jail on complaints of disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

Last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed U.S. attorneys across the country to prioritize prosecutions of federal crimes that occur on commercial flights amid a historic spike in cases involving unruly passengers.

Federal law prohibits interfering with a flight crew, including assaulting, intimidating or threatening crew members.

The Federal Aviation Administration said last month that it had referred 37 cases involving unruly airline passengers to the FBI for possible criminal prosecution since the number of disruptions on flights began to spike in January.

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