Stephon Duncan, 34, left, was involved in a mid-air scuffle onboard Delta Flight 1730 from Los Angeles to Atlanta (Picture: Storyful)
A passenger on a flight allegedly choked a crew member and wrongly claimed a terrorist was onboard – forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.
Stephon Duncan, 34, an off-duty Delta Air Lines flight attendant, is also accused of using the plane’s PA system to announce that ‘the plane is being taken over’ and is falling from the sky.
He was arrested by police, after causing panic mid-air, when the Atlanta-bound plane landed in Oklahoma City in the early hours of Saturday morning. It’s claimed he assaulted two flight attendants and displayed ‘erratic behavior’ that ‘frightened passengers’ while on the plane.
The incident began when Delta Flight 1730 was around two hours from its destination of Atlanta, after taking off in Los Angeles.
Speaking to CNN, Steve Denton, a passenger on the flight, said that the minute the Duncan walked on the plane he knew something was not quite right. Denton said the suspect was wearing a hockey helmet and displaying ‘bizarre behavior’.
Around 45 minutes into the flight, Denton said he saw Duncan open and close every bin in the first class cabin.
According to the police report, Duncan was ‘making statements about being seated next to a terrorist and stashing his personal items in various places throughout the plane’.
Detectives also state that Duncan ignored the orders of the flight crews to remain seated. He was ‘disturbing and frightening passengers with odd and random statements’, authorities said.
An off-duty Delta pilot, who was also onboard, said he saw the ‘erratic behavior and heard Duncan get on the plane’s PA system’.
Duncan was involved in a scuffle onboard the flight (Picture: Storyful)
The flight had to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma City (Picture: Storyful)
According to a police report, Duncan announced to everyone onboard that ‘the plane is going through turbulance (sic), to put on seat belts, the plane is being taken over and the plane will be going under 10,000 feet’.
Despite being asked to stop, Duncan ignored the flight crew and allegedly assaulted one of the crew members.
When another off-duty Delta crew member stepped in, Duncan ‘pushed her against the wall and put both his hands around her neck and began choking her’, the report read.
The crew eventually asked for help from the passengers as Duncan got violent, police said.
Stephon Duncan was arrested shortly after the plane had landed (Picture: Oklahoma County jail)
During the investigation officers recovered a note that Duncan allegedly handed a crew member that read: ‘I AM ATL BASED. ALERT DELTA MANAGER. TERRORIST ON BOARD. 95835/CONTACT PILOTS.’
Oklahoma City Police has handed the case over to the FBI.
When Duncan was taken into custody he had minor facial injuries and complained of chest pain, but after being checked over at hospital was taken to the Oklahoma County jail, where he still remains.
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.