Flight attendant tackles possible hijacker, zip-ties his wrists; Delta encouraged to do right by him

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A big, burly Delta Airlines flight attendant with the apparent strength of an ox successfully put the kibosh on one passenger’s attempted hijacking Friday evening.

The unnamed passenger allegedly attempted to break into the plane’s cockpit during a flight from Los Angeles to Nashville, according to LA station KCBS.

“One passenger said it seemed like the man was either panicking and in the midst of a mental health crisis or was possibly on drugs,” according to KCBS.

A flight attendant, identified on Twitter by one passenger as Christopher Williams, reportedly “acted quickly” and tackled the man. Other flight attendants and passengers then reportedly rushed to help him hold the suspect down.

“He kept banging on the flight door. That’s a no-no. The second he banged on the door, it was a wrap,” Williams could be heard telling others in the video above.

According to one extremely grateful passenger, Williams wound up zip-tying the suspect’s hands (and reportedly feet) together and then holding him down on a seat until the plane landed and he could be carried off like a hog.

Watch (*Language warning):

Following the incident, the plane diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the suspect was arrested and the flight was grounded until 10:15 pm EST, Newsweek confirmed.

“The remaining passengers on the flight [were] scheduled to arrive at their final destination of Nashville … several hours later than their originally scheduled arrival time,” according to Newsweek.

Meanwhile, Delta issued a statement thanking “crew and passengers” for a job well done.

“Thanks to the crew and passengers of Delta Flight 386, LAX to Nashville (BNA), who assisted in detaining an unruly passenger as the flight diverted to Albuquerque (ABQ). The aircraft landed without incident and the passenger was removed by law enforcement,” the airline reportedly said.

As of Saturday morning, the suspect had not yet been identified, but the FBI’s Albuquerque office had confirmed that it was investigating the matter.

What remains to be seen now is how Delta chooses to handle Williams’ actions. One social media user worries that he’ll be disciplined because of some policy:


The concern may stem from all the examples of grocery store employees being disciplined for tackling shoplifters. However, shoplifters aren’t the same thing as hijackers, and there are no known examples of flight attendants being punished for tackling them.

Most social media users seem to be hopeful the airline will reward Williams for potentially saving the lives of all passengers aboard the flight.


As for the suspect, he’ll most likely face punishment from the Federal Aviation Administration. Just last month a Delta passenger was fined in excess of over $50,000 for an incident that happened on Dec. 23rd.

“According to the FAA, the man allegedly tried to open the cockpit door and refused to follow instructions from crew members. At one point, after the man allegedly hit a flight attendant in the face and pushed him to the floor, the man then threatened and charged the flight attendant as he tried to restrain the man,” The Washington Post reported.

“Flight attendants, with the help of another passenger, put plastic handcuffs on the man. The man was able to free himself from one of the handcuffs and allegedly struck the flight attendant in the face a second time. The passenger was taken into custody by police after the plane landed, officials said.”


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