Delta Airlines Passenger Tries to Open Plane Door Mid-Flight, FBI Investigating—Police

A man has been arrested and faces federal charges for allegedly attempting to open the emergency exit door of a Delta plane mid-flight, according to the FBI.

Michael Brandon Demarre, 32, of Portland has been charged with threatening to interfere and interfering with a flight crew and attendants.

The FBI Portland Twitter page shared this information on Tuesday
and posted a link to a press release by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon.

The tweet read: "Michael Brandon Demarre of Portland is facing federal charges after attempting to open an emergency exit on a commercial airline flight from Salt Lake City, Utah to Portland."

"According to court documents, on February 11, 2022, while on a Delta Airlines flight from Salt Lake City to Portland, Demarre attempted to open the aircraft's emergency exit door while it was in flight," it said in the press release.

Witnesses told police that Demarre removed the plastic covering the emergency exit handle and pulled on it forcefully.

A flight attendant then demanded Demarre stop and move to the back of the aircraft. Demarre complied and was physically restrained by the flight crew, according to the press release.

When interviewed by authorities, when the plane landed, Demarre told officers he intentionally attempted to create a disturbance.

He said he did this so passengers would record him and allow him to share his views on the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a FOX 13 report.

Demarre appeared in federal court on Monday before a U.S. magistrate judge and was ordered to be detained pending further court proceedings.

This case is being investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Portland Police Bureau.

Newsweek has contacted Delta Air Lines for comment.

In early February, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian called on the U.S government to introduce a national "no-fly" list for unruly passengers.

Bastian sent a letter to the Attorney General Merrick Garland in hopes of seeing a change in how airlines can deal with passengers.

This "no-fly" list would prevent passengers convicted of onboard disruptions from flying on any commercial airline.

"[This] will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft." he wrote.

Bastian said Delta has placed almost 1,9000 people on Delta's own "no-fly" list for those who have refused to comply with new COVID-19 requirements. It has also submitted more than 900 banned individuals' names to the Transportation Security Administration to pursue civil penalties.

In addition to this, Bastian has previously called on other airlines to share their unruly passenger "no-fly" list with its airline.

"[This will ensure individuals] who have endangered the safety and security of our people do not go on to do so on another carrier."

Delta plane
A Delta airlines aircraft landing from Los Angeles at Kingsford Smith International airport on October 31, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. A man has been arrested and faces federal charges for allegedly attempting to open the emergency exit door of a plane mid-flight. James D. Morgan/Getty Images