'Disruptive' passenger diverts Delta flight to Detroit Metro, officials say

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

An unruly passenger forced a Delta flight to divert to Detroit Metro Airport on Thursday night, representatives said.

A customer on Flight 1131 from Los Angeles to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport experienced "an issue on board," an airline spokesperson said in a statement. "The customer was met by law enforcement upon landing and then the flight continued on safely to New York. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and delay, though the safety and well-being of our customers and crew is always Delta’s top priority."

A Delta airliner prepares to land at Detroit Metro Airport, Thursday afternoon, Oct. 8, 2020.

FlightAware.com shows the plane reached Gate A60 at Detroit Metro minutes before midnight.

In a post on Twitter, CBS News correspondent Dana Jacobson shared a video (Editor's note: Contains obscene language) of a woman being moved on a stretcher at the gate, surrounded by uniformed emergency personnel.

The woman, who was upright, is heard on the recording shouting and gesturing to passerby: "Was I physical with any of y'all?"

Jacobson tweeted that "the passenger was unruly and creating a threat which was why we had to land."

In a statement to The Detroit News on Friday, airport officials only described the passenger as "disruptive."

"Once the plane landed, Wayne County Airport Authority police officers made contact with the passenger, who was removed from the aircraft," the statement said.

"Paramedics from the Airport Authority Fire Department also responded and transported the passenger to an area hospital. As of now, it appears the passenger did not have any criminal intent, and instead may be suffering from a medical issue. However, this is based on preliminary reports. The passenger was issued a disorderly conduct citation from the FBI.”

Mara Schneider, public affairs officer for the FBI Detroit Field Office, told The News the woman was given a misdemeanor ticket and is not believed to be in custody.