Delta Passenger Headbutts Flight Attendant, Forcing Emergency Landing

Sep 22, 2018

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Delta Air Lines Flight 2603 from Salt Lake City (SLC) to Orlando (MCO) made an emergency diversion landing in Oklahoma City (OKC) early Friday morning after a drunk passenger physically attacked a male flight attendant.

Assistant public information officer Sgt. Gary Knight said that Derek Maas, 28, had been drinking before the flight, and originally was denied additional alcohol on board although he initially did not pose a threat to either the flight crew or to his fellow passengers before takeoff.

Maas told the female flight attendant that he would go to sleep if he could get another drink. But after she complied, he began requesting more drinks and became increasingly “unruly and violent,” verbally harassing the female flight attendant. When a male flight attendant intervened, a fight broke out after Mass head-butted him in response, and Maas had to be restrained with zip ties for the remainder of the flight as the plane diverted to Oklahoma City, landing at 1:53am.

Police officers reported smelling alcohol on Maas’s breath, noting that he was unsteady on his feet, stumbling and losing his balance while walking toward the officer. Maas was arrested by law enforcement at Will Rogers World Airport and booked into custody at 9:25am. The flight proceeded on to Orlando, landing at 7am. As of Saturday morning, Maas had been released from custody, according to the Oklahoma County inmate query.

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