Passenger headbutts flight attendant, forces emergency landing

USA TODAY

Published 7:56 PM EDT Sep 21, 2018

Passenger headbutts flight attendant, forces emergency landing

A violent passenger had to be removed from a red-eye flight after headbutting a flight attendant, according to Oklahoma City police.

Early Friday, Derek Maas, a passenger on a Delta Airlines flight from Orlando to Salt Lake City, was arrested in Oklahoma City. The plane made an emergency landing at Will Rogers World Airport and Maas, 28, was booked at 9:25 am, according to the Oklahoma County inmate query.

What led to the ejection?Maas was "extremely drunk" and belligerent, assistant public information officer Sgt. Gary Knight tells USA TODAY. Maas had been drinking before boarding the plane, and asked for more beverages on the flight.

After initially being denied a request for alcohol, Maas was eventually served and became "unruly and violent," according to a statement from Delta Airlines. Knight says Maas headbutted a male flight attendant and had to be restrained with zip ties on the flight.

Maas was met by law enforcement in Oklahoma City and taken into custody for public drunkenness. 

Delta, in their statement to USA TODAY, said it "applauds the quick action and professionalism of the crew of Delta flight 2603 operating from Salt Lake City to Orlando which diverted to Oklahoma City...The flight continued to Orlando, arriving two hours past schedule."

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