Federal officials say a Portland man allegedly tried to open the emergency door of a Delta Air Lines flight because he wanted people to videotape him sharing his thoughts on the Govt-19 vaccine.
Michael Brandon Demare, 32, was arrested and charged with threatening to interfere with flight attendants and flight attendants. Press release Through the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Oregon District.
A confession states that Demer tried to open the emergency route on Flight 1580 from Salt Lake City to Portland on Friday. Witnesses told Port of Portland Police that Demer removed the plastic cover from the top of the emergency exit handle and “pulled the handle with his full body weight,” the affidavit said.
A flight attendant stopped touching the handle and told her to go to the back of the plane, where she was restrained until the plane landed.
Federal officials said in the affidavit that Demare tried to open the door, “so other passengers would videotape him, giving him the opportunity to share his thoughts on the Govt-19 vaccine.”
Demarre was arraigned in court Monday and ordered further proceedings to be put on hold. His lawyer was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Delta said it has “zero tolerance for unrestricted customers and will continue to work to strengthen the security of our people and customers.”
There have been several reports recently of passengers being disturbed on flights. On February 3, Delta CEO Ed Bastian sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging that those convicted of these crimes be added to the national airline list “to prevent that person from traveling on any commercial airline.”
“This action will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong indication of the consequences of non-compliance with team members’ instructions on commercial flights,” he wrote.
Bastian said the number of incidents involving unruly passengers has increased by almost 100 percent since 2019.
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