The man restrained during his bid to hijack Delta Airlines from Los Angeles International Airport is now facing federal charges. But, ironically, all the crew and passengers foiled his plot. A video resurfaced showing delta flight attendant zip ties the hijacker to a restraining bid.
On June 4, 2021, Delta Flight 386 career started with 162 passengers, six crew members and pilots towards its destination.
The initial start of the flight was smooth, like any other flight. Passengers were getting on board for the three-hour-long flight.
But, during the flight, a passenger suddenly rushed and tried to take control of the cockpit. In addition, a passenger from the Third row on the flight posted a video that offered information on what happened on the flight.
The video indicated that the suspect seemed unprovoked. He just got up from the seat, rushed towards the pilot’s cabin, and started banging on the cockpit door.
But, another passenger flung into action and took down the passenger and held him against the ground. A Delta crew then assisted in the whole restraining process with zip ties. Flight attendant Christopher Williams took swift action and zip-tied the man’s ankles and hands. He also restrained him for nearly twenty minutes.
A passenger named Jessica Robertson tweeted- It was terrifying, but our Delta flight attendant Christopher Williams responded quickly. As did several other passengers in my vicinity…We’re safe, but we’re still in Albuquerque…I hope @delta gets Chris all the credit and bonuses he deserves.”
The flight then made an emergency landing at the Albuquerque International Sunport around 2.20 pm. Airport police arrested the man in the viral video footage of the incident. In the footage, the hijacker is seen being pulled by the authorities. He was still murmuring, “Stop this plane’ repeatedly.
Other passengers felt calm and safe when the hijacker was taken down the flight. The passengers waited in Albuquerque for hours, and later Delta Airlines made an alternative arrangement for those stranded flyers to reach Nashville.
Wes and Tracy Campbell, two Nashville-based music executives, were also on the plane. Tracy, who identified the crew, also gave Zenger an account of the whole incident. She claimed the attacker “was after the cockpit, no question.”
Mrs. Campbell also offered a detailed description of what happened- “This guy was a huge dude…He was hefty. And this darling flight attendant — he was really pushing him back. He was exhausted.”
She also added, “We didn’t really know what was going on. I just thought, “Holy crap! There’s two guys fighting… I mean, this is not 9/11. It’s been a long time. But it’s all happening in nanoseconds. And this is the flight attendant who just served me my beverage!”
Delta Airlines released an official statement praising the passengers and the crew of flight 386 by saying, “My office will continue to aggressively prosecute federal crimes in the skies and ensure the safety of the flying public. … No passenger, flight crew, or flight attendant should have to fly in fear.”
What did social media say?
The video became popular on the internet, and people applauded the passengers and the crew for their heroic effort. In addition, Twitter users were stunned by the courage displayed by the passenger and the crew on the plane.
Christopher Williams, the crew member, instantly became a social media hero. Even though he was present on social media platforms like LinkedIn but did not comment on the incident.
A picture also resurfaced, which showed a man sitting behind the unruly passenger. This crew was seating in the vehicle with his head dropped. It is not known whether the picture belongs to Christopher.
But, Twiteretti was impressed by his courage. One Twitter user, Sapphireswell, wrote, “True hero in the skies. Christopher Williams, a flight attendant for Delta, stops a passenger from entering the cockpit. FAs are there to protect the passengers and plane, not just to serve drinks!”
Another Twitter user, Leon Washington, who is also a retired flight attendant from United Airlines, also praised Williams by saying- “As a retired Flight Attendant from Continental/United Airlines, I commanded his professionalism and leadership that was taught and trained to us during Flight Attendant training for six weeks before becoming a Flight Attendant! Much love and respect to you my brother!!”
The Airport Police handed over the custody of the unidentified man to the FBI. The FBI investigated the case of the probable hijack attempt. However, they did not reveal the identity of the man. In their official Twitter response, FBI Albuquerque claimed, “There is no threat to the public at this time”.
Per the passengers’ statements, the man boarded the Delta flight without any carry-on luggage. He was a six-foot-four athletic man. He was wearing shoes without any socks. Mr. Campbell said that the man had a lot of black hair on his back and body. This man was already talking loudly before he tried to approach the cockpit, and the commotion ensured.
Till now his identity os not disclosed and nothing is known what happened to him after the investigation.
What happened to the other passengers
The unidentified hijacker was first handed over to the authority during the emergency landing. The other passengers waited five hours at the airport. Delta then arranged an alternative career to Nashville, and the crew and the remaining passengers boarded this replacement flight. The flight landed in Nashville just before 2 am.
As it seems, with time, incidents involving unruly passengers have increased in the USA and worldwide. Since the case is under investigation, it is difficult t assume the outcome. But, the courage of the passengers and the crew still needs applause. They went to extra lengths to keep others safe.
The Federal Aviation Administration already declared the increasing number of unruly passengers at their 24th May press conference. They claimed they had received 2500 reports of “Unruly behaviour by passengers” aboard commercial flights. The FAA also added that among these 1900 unruly borders refused to wear face masks amidst the corona outbreak.