Southwest Plane Diverts After Passenger Demands First Class

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According to this story, a Southwest Plane Diverts After a Passenger Demands First Class and starts to get belligerent.


Details of the story from Oregon Live below:

A Southwest Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Portland after a belligerent man terrorized flight crews and passengers with gang signs, Jesus preaching and screams for booze, federal court records obtained Wednesday show. 

The brouhaha began nearly the moment the suspect, identified in the documents as Lemar Sheron Rogers, boarded the plane Tuesday morning in Seattle and claimed he had a first-class ticket.

He didn’t. Nor did any of the 43 passengers. Attendants had to tell Rogers that the Sacramento-bound flight had no first-class seating.

And they asked him three times to stow his luggage, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S District court in Portland.

“I do what I want,” Rogers replied, the documents show.

He wasn’t joking.

Before takeoff, the suspect started pressing the call button above his seat. A flight attendant asked if he had an emergency.

“Yea … I need a (expletive) drink!” an agitated Rogers snapped, the documents say.

The outburst scared a woman sitting near him. She asked that she and her daughter be moved to different seats, the documents say. As the plane taxied then took off, the man repeatedly hit the call button, cussed and demanded alcohol.

The problems got worse when the plane hit cruising altitude.

Rogers started shouting at flight attendants that he had an emergency, telling one he wanted three glasses of wine, the records show.

When the attendant said he could only have one glass at a time, the man’s behavior escalated.

“Get the (expletive) out of my face,” he sneered. Then he said, “Jesus loves you,” according to documents.

Soon, the suspect was swearing at passengers, flashing gang signs and demanding to speak with the pilot, the documents say.

A flight attendant became so frightened that she asked another passenger to help her restrain Rogers if he became violent, according to court records. Another attendant boiled a pot of water to use against the suspect if he tried to approach the flight deck, the records show.

To ensure the safety of all onboard, the pilot eventually diverted the flight and landed at Portland International Airport, the documents say.

Two Port of Portland police met the plane at the gate and took Rogers into custody. All the while, he rambled incessantly about Jesus, the documents say.

Rogers told authorities he had been smoking “purple hash” before the flight but didn’t feel high aboard the plane, court records show.

Rogers claimed any gang signs he “threw up were for Jesus” and that the woman who switched seats did so because he is black, according to the documents.

He was later charged with interfering with flight crew members. 

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