Delta Flight Attendant Assaulted by Passenger, Forcing Plane to Turn Around and Land

Jul 07, 2017

A first-class passenger assaulted and injured a flight attendant aboard a Delta Air Lines flight bound for Beijing Thursday night, forcing the plane to return to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, officials said.

The 23-year-old man attacked the flight attendant roughly 45 minutes into Delta Flight 129, a Sea-Tac Airport spokesman said, according to NBC News. Passengers assisted with restraining him until the plane the landed back in Seattle, where Port of Seattle police arrested him, the spokesman added.

Officials have yet to release the name of the passenger.

"The passenger was restrained on board and was removed from the flight by law enforcement without further incident," Delta said in a statement, NBC reported.

Along with the flight attendant, one other person was injured. Both were taken to a hospital.

“One of the flight attendants ran back and said there was a Code 3. There was a serious fight up front,” Dustin Jones, a passenger seated just behind the first-class section of the plane, told local station KIRO-TV.

Jones said that, upon landing, he saw the passenger handcuffed and zip-tied being rolled out into a Sea-Tac terminal in a wheelchair.

“He started yelling for help. And so he turned the wheelchair over in the middle of the airport, screaming for people to help him, just being belligerent,” Jones added.

Airport officials were told by the FBI that the incident is not believed to have been a national security threat.

The flight departed for Beijing later Thursday night.

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