Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Man Threatens Passenger With Smuggled Boxcutter

559714906

A passenger on a Frontier Airlines flight with two box cutters was taken into custody after an emergency landing, according to eyewitnesses.

Larry Cumberbatch, a Navy veteran, said two other veterans and a former law enforcement member helped detain the armed passenger.

The armed passenger was arrested after a former law enforcement member tackled him. Two veterans, including Cumberbatch flanked the armed passenger. Law enforcement was nearby, but not immediately visible.

Cumberbatch said flight attendants asked him to switch seats with a woman originally next to the armed passenger because the man was acting erratically and showing a knife to the lady. Cumberbatch then walked to the back of the plane and boxed in the man seated in the window.

Having any sort of weaponry is illegal in such an isolated and vulnerable place. The armed man became heavily watched after showing off his boxcutters.

Cumberbatch said he stood up and told the man he couldn’t sit in the young lady’s seat anymore because he didn’t want anyone with a knife behind him. When the armed passenger exited the bathroom, Cumberbatch confronted him in the aisle and described the moment as a showdown of sorts. However, he played nonchalant.

Frontier Airlines flight 1761 landed safely in Atlanta. Though the landing wasn’t intended, an emergency landing needed to be performed for the sake of the passengers. The armed man was taken into custody by Atlanta law enforcement. No injuries were reported, and a new flight was scheduled for Saturday to take them to Tampa.

The US Attorney’s Office is investigating the situation with the Frontier flight and TSA is reviewing CCTV, airport security checkpoint processes/operations and will provide updates as they become available.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.