by Donald Wood
Last updated: 10:25 AM ET, Fri December 10, 2021
A Delta Air Lines flight was forced to divert to Oklahoma City on Thursday after a passenger allegedly assaulted a crew member and an air marshal.
According to The Associated Press, Delta Flight 342 was en route to Los Angeles International Airport from Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. when the incident took place, forcing the plane to divert to Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma at around 7:40 p.m. local time.
An Oklahoma City Police representative said a passenger became combative during the flight and began arguing with another traveler. The man then attacked a flight attendant, prompting an air marshal in the plane to get involved.
After the altercation between the air marshal and the unruly passenger, the man was restrained with plastic handcuffs for the remainder of the journey and eventually turned over to the police once the aircraft landed safely.
"Delta applauds the quick action and professionalism of the crew and Federal Air Marshals on Delta Flight 342...We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience," a Delta spokesperson told The AP.
The incident remains under investigation, but police did not say what prompted the altercation.
The remaining passengers on the Delta flight were eventually transported to LAX, where the plane landed at around 10:30 p.m. local time.
In the wake of an ever-increasing number of violent crimes by passengers on commercial airlines, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland ordered attorneys across the country last month to prioritize the prosecution of anyone who endangers the safety of passengers, flight crews and flight attendants.
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