Passenger who tried to breach cockpit on flight diverted to Albuquerque identified

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WKRN/KRQE) — A passenger accused of attempting to breach the cockpit of a flight on its way from Los Angeles to Nashville has been charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants. A criminal complaint has identified the passenger as Asiel Christian Norton. 

Delta flight 386 was diverted to Albuquerque after Norton allegedly charged the front of the plane and began pounding on the door leading to the flight deck yelling “We need to land this plane!” 

According to investigators, Norton ran to the front of the plane shortly after the first drink service and trash pickup. A flight attendant who worked in the front galley tried to usher Norton back to his seat. Norton reportedly pushed the flight attendant and began pounding on the flight deck door.

Flight attendants and passengers subdued Norton and took him to the back of the aircraft. Once on the ground, Albuquerque FBI agents responded.


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The criminal complaint alleges Norton “did unlawfully and knowingly assault and intimidate” a flight crew member. Flight attendants told investigators Norton did not appear to be under the influence and had not been served alcohol while on the flight.  

Norton was scheduled to appear in federal court in New Mexico on Tuesday, June 8 but waived his right to do so. Federal prosecutors are working to hold him behind bars until trial. Norton faces up to 20-years in prison. A New Mexico federal judge is set to decide Thursday whether Norton will stay locked up.

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