Disruptive passenger on AA flight 'subdued' by other passengers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Disruptive passenger on AA flight 'subdued' by other passengers before emergency landing in Lubbock

Jerry Nguyen (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center) Jerry Nguyen (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)

American Airlines say a flight was diverted to Lubbock International Airport due to a disruptive passenger, early Thursday morning. The passenger was arrested and charged with terroristic threat and could face federal charges.

The Boeing 737 landed in Lubbock at 5:17 a.m. The Lubbock Police Department was called to the airport at 5:03 a.m. The flight left Lubbock shortly after 6 a.m. and in Dallas, around 7 a.m. 

According to court documents, 24-year-old Jerry Ba Nguyen of San Jose, CA told one of the flight attendants he believed the SIM card had been taken from his phone and he was agitated. As the plane began preparing for takeoff, he walked towards the front of the aircraft. Flight attendants were able to calm him down initially and the plane was able to depart.

After takeoff, Nguyen's erratic behavior continued, according to the documents. He mumbled incoherently about the SIM card being stolen and making suicidal statements. He also made statements that the police were not his friends and the U.S. Government was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

According to the flight crew, Nguyen's ramblings and refusal to remain seated were making other passengers on the plane nervous. He was asked to remain in his seat by the flight crew on multiple occasions, but he refused.

The documents say the flight crew recruited several passengers to physically restrain Nguyen if it became necessary.

Upon final approach, Nguyen walked to the front of the plane and began banging and kicking on the cockpit door. He was subdued by passengers and restrained with flex cuffs. The captain declared an emergency and the flight was diverted to Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

When the plane landed, Nguyen was removed from the plane and taken into custody by the Lubbock International Airport Police.

Nguyen was taken to the hospital for evaluation and was booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center on a misdemeanor terroristic threat charge and is also being held for US Marshals.

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