Delta flight diverted after passenger assaults flight attendant, air marshal: Police

At some point, an air marshal attempted to intervene and was also assaulted by the passenger.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- A Delta Air Lines flight headed to Los Angeles from Washington D.C. was diverted to Oklahoma City Thursday night after a passenger assaulted a flight attendant and an air marshal, authorities say.

According to an Oklahoma City police captain who spoke with ABC News, a "combative passenger" on the plane assaulted a flight attendant, though it's unclear what prompted the altercation.

At some point, an air marshal attempted to intervene and was also assaulted by the passenger.

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More than ever, flight attendants have been dealing with unruly passengers fighting against mask mandates, and now, they're saying enough is enough.

The Boeing 757-200 aircraft landed at the Will Rogers World Airport around 7:40 p.m. where police took the suspect into custody.

Footage from the incident showed the unruly passenger, who was not wearing a mask, arguing with another individual on the plane. Video also showed him being restrained and starting to yell while sitting down.

His hands were behind his back in plastic handcuffs as authorities entered the plane to take him into custody.

Delta issued the following statement to our sister station KABC Thursday night:

"Delta applauds the quick action and professionalism of the crew and Federal Air Marshals on Delta flight (342) from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, which diverted to Oklahoma City after a customer became unruly and was removed from the flight by local law enforcement. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience."

The Delta flight later landed at Los Angeles International Airport just after 10:30 p.m.

The incident remains under investigation.

In September, Delta Air Lines asked other U.S. carriers to share lists of passengers who have been banned during the pandemic due to their behavior.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently issued more than $1 million in proposed fines for unruly passengers.

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There's a new effort to keep unruly flyers grounded in reaction to this summer's trend of people throwing a fit while flying.

At a congressional hearing at the time, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Peter DeFazio, called for more criminal prosecutions of unruly passengers.

He also said airports should stop concessioners from selling alcohol to go. Criminal prosecutions are rare, and usually left up to local authorities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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