latest news Man detained at LAX after allegedly opening airplane emergency door

A Delta Air Lines passenger was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after allegedly opening an emergency exit door and sliding down the emergency slide as the plane prepared to take off for Seattle on Saturday morning, a a passenger told The Times.

The incident happened after 10 a.m. when flight attendants gave their safety briefing to passengers and the plane came through the gate, according to Gillian Sheldon, who was on Delta Flight 1714 and witnessed of the incident.

“Nobody had time to react,” said Sheldon, who comes from Tarzana and works in public relations. “It happened so incredibly fast.”

Sheldon was sitting in first class doing some last-minute chores on her phone before the plane was scheduled to take off when she said she suddenly heard a man behind her say, “What am I doing. NOW ?” She said she noticed the man standing in the aisle as the plane taxied towards the runway.

A flight attendant told the man to return to his seat, but the man ignored her and quickly grabbed the emergency exit door, according to Sheldon.

“You can’t open the door!” Sheldon said the flight attendant yelled at the man.

The man opened the door and deployed the emergency inflatable slide, then jumped on it, Sheldon said. From her window, she said she saw the man walk over to a luggage cart and sit down.

“What was so weird was that it was so fast,” Sheldon said, adding that it took him about a second to open the door and slide out of the plane. “I think some people didn’t see it coming.”

As the man sat on the cart, Sheldon said she thought she was going to call 911, but she saw LAPD officers pull him over.

Minutes later, the plane returned to the gate and passengers were asked to exit until they could be placed on a later flight, Sheldon said.

LA Airport Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Captain Karla Rodriguez told KNBC-TV Channel 4 that the incident was under investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been notified.

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