Federal agents arrested a 23-year-old man on Monday for allegedly attempting to open the emergency exit while his flight to Portland, Oregon was still in the air.
KATU-TV reported that Alexander Michael Herrera allegedly had to be restrained by fellow passengers and crew members during the flight from Anchorage, Alaska into Portland.
“The lights were out and I awoke to a loud hissing and then lots of screaming,” one passenger, Ryan Oelrich, said to the station. “I thought maybe the plane was going down.”
Oelrich said it took 5 or 6 people to subdue Herrera for 15 minutes before the plane touched down.
“He looked very nervous. His hair was in his face,” Oelrich said to KATU, describing Herrera. “He just was slamming his body against that door like he wanted to get out. I could hear the folks chatting who were seated around him after the incident, said he had made them nervous from the get-go. That he was talking to himself and was asking them bizarre questions.”
A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Investigation told KREM-TV that several people onboard said Herrera made “unusual statements” before attempting to open the exit.
Herrera was taken into custody upon the plane’s arrival in Portland. He faces one charge of interfering with a flight crew and is scheduled to appear in federal court on Tuesday.
Watch Ora TV’s report on the arrest, aired Monday, below.