Flight diverted after off-duty attendant allegedly chokes crew member, accuses passenger of terrorism

August 1, 2019 Santa Clara / CA / USA - Delta Airlines aircraft in flight; the Delta Logo visible on the airplanes' underbelly; blue sky background

An off-duty flight attendant has been arrested and charged after exhibiting what has been described by police as “paranoid”, “combative” and “erratic” behaviour.

Thirty-four-year-old Stephon Duncan was arrested and booked on 11 June by Oklahoma City Police on a complaint of simple assault due to an in-flight incident on a Delta Air Lines plane from Los Angles to Atlanta, which was consequently diverted to OKC.

According to the police incident report, Duncan – a Delta flight attendant who was off duty at the time – was subdued by crew members on board after creating a disturbance near the front of the plane.

Flight crew who were interviewed by police claimed Duncan was exhibiting “strange and paranoid behaviour”, making statements about being seated next to a terrorist and stashing his personal items in various places throughout the plane.

Duncan also allegedly jumped on the aircraft’s PA system and announced to fellow passengers that the plane was going through turbulence and was “being taken over”, according to the police report.

After ignoring orders from the flight crew to stop, one of the flight attendants allegedly attempted to restrain Duncan, who shoved them up against the wall of the plane.

Another off-duty Delta crew member then jumped in to try and help, but she was also attacked by Duncan, who “put both his hands around her neck and began choking her”, according to police.

After the Atlanta-bound flight was diverted to OKC, Duncan was arrested and taken to Oklahoma County Jail, while the police bomb squad was called in to clear the plane and Duncan’s luggage.

The FBI is now investigating the incident.

Travel Weekly has contacted Delta Air Lines for comment.

Featured image source: iStock/Sundry Photography

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