Man charged after forcing plane to divert to Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Victor Mangual has been charged after causing a United Airlines flight to be diverted to Memphis last weekend.

Mangual has been charged in federal court with interfering with a flight crew.

United Flight 1435 was diverted to Memphis Saturday while headed from Houston to New York.

Passengers said Mangual told a flight attendant he had an explosive on the plane.

WREG spoke with one passenger, Brent McCowan, who said the flight attendant handled the situation very well.

Memphis Police and the FBI took over once the plane landed.

“There was no panic. There were no screams. There were no cries,” said McCowan, a New York resident. “The FBI showed up and put a bomb-sniffing dog on the plane and we were told the plane had to be searched by this bomb-sniffing dog because the passenger had reported that there were some explosives on-board.”

While still in the air, McCowan first heard the commotion in the back of the plane and then saw the flight attendant escort Mangual to the front.

McCowan said it looked like the flight attendant needed some help so four first-class passengers stood-up to help get the situation under control.

“The captain made an announcement that there was a disruptive gentleman on board and due to this disruption, he was going to be arrested and handcuffed,” said McCowan.

McCowan said the 140 passengers left the plane so the FBI K-9 could search for explosives.

In the end, sources tell WREG the man was more of a threat to himself than anyone else.

“The flight attendant did a great job with the way he handled the situation,” said McCowan.

The flight, which left Houston at 6:55 p.m. Saturday, did not arrive in New York until 4:30 a.m. Sunday.



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