Flight Attendant Hits 'Unruly Passenger' With Coffee Pot As Plane Makes Emergency Landing The passenger reportedly tried to open the exit door mid-flight and break open a bottle of champagne.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily

Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Passengers on an American Airlines flight going from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. were in for a horrifying scene when a disgruntled passenger got into a physical altercation with flight attendants and tried to open the exit door mid-flight.

The Sunday afternoon flight had to make an emergency diverted landing in Kansas City as a result of the incident.

According to the FBI report, the suspect in question is 50-year-old Juan Remberto Rivas who is still in federal custody.

The report claims that Rivas walked up to the cockpit during the flight where he began to get violent by grabbing plastic silverware and hiding it half in his shirt sleeve to make a weapon out of it.

Related: Flight Attendants Who Duct-Taped Passenger to Seat in Shocking Video Receive Praise from Internet

He then tried to smash a champagne bottle open and pushed one of the food and beverage carts into the flight attendants.

The incident then began to escalate when Rivas made is way towards the exit door of the plane.

"Rivas positioned one foot on the aircraft door, the affidavit says, and began pulling hard on the handle with one hand, at first, and then both of his hands," The FBI release states. "A flight attendant grabbed a coffee pot and hit Rivas twice in the head with it."

Other passengers then helped detain and restrain Rivas until he was eventually zip tied and duct taped down prior to the plane making its emergency landing where law enforcement met the crew and Rivas, who was given medical treatment for a head injury that he received during the incident.

"American Airlines flight 1775 with service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Washington, D.C. (DCA) diverted to Kansas City (MCI) due to an unruly passenger," American Airlines said in a statement. "We're grateful to our crew members, who are consistently dedicated to the safety and care of our customers and who handled the circumstances with the utmost skill and professionalism."

Related: American Airlines Flight Diverted After Passenger Punches Flight Attendant

Flight attendants said that they did not serve Rivas any alcohol on the flight.

The FBI release did not note why the incident began but CNN reported that, per an affidavit, Rivas had grown paranoid and told flight attendants "people were attempting to hurt him and they followed him on the plane," even accusing one of having a knife and that he "heard the individuals harming his family over the telephone."

Rivas was charged with "assaulting and intimidating a flight attendant and thereby interfering in the performance of the flight attendant's duties." He is currently awaiting his hearing.

Another American Airlines flight was diverted in October 2021 after a passenger allegedly punched a flight attendant in the face over an argument about mask enforcemet on the aircraft.

Last January, the FAA signed a new zero-tolerance policy into effect that would require a "stricter legal enforcement policy against unruly airline passengers" as a result of a surge in incidents on board due to to mask mandates and pandemic-related restrictions.

"Historically, the agency has addressed unruly-passenger incidents using a variety of methods ranging from warnings and counseling to civil penalties," the FAA said. "Under the new zero tolerance policy, FAA will not address these cases with warnings or counseling. The agency will pursue legal enforcement action against any passenger who assaults, threatens, intimidates, or interferes with airline crew members."

American Airlines was up around 5.72% year over year as of late Tuesday afternoon.

Related: United Airlines Passenger Dragged Off Plane by Airport Employees

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Data & Recovery

Get 2TB of Cloud Storage with PhotoSphere for Just $280 for a Limited Time

Easily store and access photos, videos, and other files spread across your work devices.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Here Are 3 Strategies Startup Founders Can Use to Approach High-Impact Disputes

The $7 billion "buy now, pay later" startup Klarna recently faced a public board spat. Here are three strategies to approach conflict within a business.