CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation says a 23-year-old man who assaulted and intimidated a Spirit Airlines flight attendant wanted to kill everyone on the plane.
According to an affidavit, Flight 185, which left Cleveland around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, was diverted in Denver after an incident with a passenger. The plane was traveling to Los Angeles.
While en route, a man reportedly attempted to open the rear exit door of the aircraft. A flight attendant tried to pull him away from the door, but he resisted.
Officials say the man then pulled the pin and tried to pull the armed lever on the door.
One flight attendant told the FBI that five people, some of whom were airline passengers, were ultimately needed to pull the suspect away from the door.
The suspect’s hands and feet were then restrained. He was reportedly moved to the back row of the aircraft before the plane landed at Denver International Airport, where he was turned over to Denver police.
No flight attedants or passengers were hurt during the incident.
According to the FBI, during an interview with investigators, the suspect said: “he wanted to kill everyone, including himself, on the aircraft” and that he wanted the interviewing agents to take him to jail. Officials say he also told the interviewing agents that he wanted to kill them and advised he would kill people if he was let out of jail.
The FBI says that based on preliminary investigation, probable cause exists to believe the suspect violated Title 49, United States Code, Section 46504 – Interference with Flight Crew Members and Attendants.
If convicted, the suspect could face 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or both.