PORTLAND, Ore. — A Southwest Airlines passenger had to be physically restrained after yelling death threats at fellow passengers and staff on board a flight bound for Sacramento.
According to sources, flight attendants caught Valerie Curbelo attempting to smoke in the bathroom. She had even reportedly altered the smoke detector.
After forcing their way into the stall, flight attendants escorted Curbelo back to her seat and asked her to sit for the remainder of the flight.
One witness said Curbelo started complaining of anxiety and demanding that they land at a different destination. At one point, she reportedly even pushed a staff member.
“I will kill everybody on this f***ing plane!” she screamed.
“I swear if you don’t <bleep> land!”
Curbelo had to be restrained for the last 30 minutes of the flight and was taken into custody once they reached the terminal. She was charged with three counts of Felony criminal threats and her bail has been set at $75,000.
Southwest released the following statement:
“Our Crew in command of Flight 2943 traveling from Portland on Saturday afternoon safely landed on-time in Sacramento following an inflight disturbance. Our reports from Flight Attendants indicate a Customer violated federal laws by both smoking onboard an aircraft and by tampering with a smoke detector in an aircraft restroom. Our Crew enforced the regulation and that was followed by the passenger outburst. The safety of our Crew and Passengers is our top priority and we take all threats seriously. The Pilots declared an emergency to receive priority handling from air traffic controllers, and our Crew handled the situation onboard until the plane landed and local authorities stepped in. The flight carried 136 Customers and a Crew of five.”