An American Airlines flight was diverted to Kansas City International Airport in Missouri on Sunday afternoon because of “an unruly passenger,” the airline said in a statement.
“American Airlines flight 1775 with service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Washington, D.C. (DCA) diverted to Kansas City (MCI) due to an unruly passenger,” the statement, provided to CNN, said.
“The flight landed safely at MCI at 2:28 p.m. local time, and law enforcement was requested to meet the flight on arrival,” it added. “We’re grateful to our crew members, who are consistently dedicated to the safety and care of our customers and who handled the circumstances with the utmost skill and professionalism.”
The incident then began to escalate when 50-year-old Jan Remberto Rivas made his way towards the exit door of the plane.
“Rivas positioned one foot on the aircraft door, the affidavit says, and began pulling hard on the handle with one hand, at first, and then both of his hands,” The FBI release states. “A flight attendant grabbed a coffee pot and hit Rivas twice in the head with it.”
Other passengers then helped detain and restrain Rivas until he was eventually zip tied and duct taped down prior to the plane making its emergency landing where law enforcement met the crew and Rivas, who was given medical treatment for a head injury that he received during the incident.
Kansas City Aviation Department spokesperson Joe McBride told CNN there was a “passenger interfering with the flight crew,” adding the incident will be under the jurisdiction of the FBI.
The FBI confirmed the incident in a statement to CNN, adding the individual in question had been taken into custody.
Rivas has been charged with one count of assaulting and intimidating a flight attendant and thereby interfering in the performance of the flight attendant’s duties, according to a US Justice Department news release.
Rivas will remain in federal custody until a detention hearing is scheduled, the release said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC-2.COM