A Delta Air Lines passenger is charged with interfering with a flight crew after an in-flight disruption that caused a flight to divert to Tulsa.
The passenger, 29-year-old Bolutife Olusegun Olorunda, who lives in Vancouver, Wash., “allegedly ignored direction from a flight attendant, and the Captain determined it was necessary to divert” to Tulsa, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
During the flight Wednesday from Portland, Ore. bound for Atlanta, “Mr. Olorunda’s alleged behavior was erratic and disruptive,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Two federal air marshals “addressed the situation” during the flight and Tulsa police detained Olorunda after the plane landed.
An affidavit from FBI special agent Orlando Brown says Olorunda “was approached by a flight attendant due to his erratic and disruptive behavior.”
He was “singing out loud and screaming, disrupting other passengers on the flight. The flight crew members felt like Olorunda was acting in a manner that caused concern for the safety and security of the flight,” the affidavit says. Olorunda ignored a flight attendant’s attempts to get his attention by talking to him “and continued to act erratic and was disorderly.”
The flight attendant then told him he was disturbing other passengers, and the affidavit says “Olorunda replied in a threatening tone and manner, ‘Don’t touch me and if you touch me again you will regret it.’”
“Because of Olorunda’s verbal threat, the flight attendant became concerned for her safety, the safety of other passengers and the safety of the aircraft,” according to the affidavit. She asked for help in case he became violent, and told the captain about the disturbance, who decided to make an emergency landing and divert to Tulsa.
A federal air marshal sat next to Olorunda “and tried to deescalate the situation through conversation. Olorunda was not responsive,” according to the affidavit. The air marshal tried to remove his headphones, “but he flailed his arms around,” the affidavit says. The air marshal “was ultimately able to gain compliance with Olorunda and remained seated next to him for the duration of the flight.”
Olorunda will be arraigned Thursday afternoon.
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