Police took an Alaska Airlines passenger into custody in Anchorage after he allegedly made threats to “shoot other passengers or blow up the plane.”
Officials have confirmed that police officers boarded an Alaska Airlines flight at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) with weapons drawn on Thursday. A first class passenger was quickly removed from the aircraft shortly after landing following reports that he had threatened to shoot fellow passengers and blow up the plane during the flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) .
“At no time were the passengers in any danger,” ANC Police and Fire Chief Jesse Davis told The Alaska Dispatch News. “The fact that the passenger was seated up front made it easier for us to intervene.”
Davis told the newspaper that although officers were responding to a report of a potentially armed passenger, no weapon was found on the suspect. “We also had checked the plane and interviewed witnesses, and it appears that there was no weapon,” Davis explained. “He had just made a statement that he would shoot other passengers or blow up the plane.”
Eyewitnesses say that three officers boarded the flight with guns drawn as soon as the plane landed at the terminal. The passenger was removed from the plane without further incident and the remaining passengers were allowed to disembark from the aircraft approximately 15 minutes later.
The police chief told reporters that the detained passenger “showed signs of intoxication.” The still-unidentified passenger was not immediately charged while local police consulted with federal officials about jurisdictional issues.
“At approximately 11:40 p.m. Anchorage time, flight 755 from Seattle to Anchorage was taxiing to the gate when a customer seated in the first row made verbal threats to harm other passengers and the crew,” Alaska Airlines officials told Anchorage NBC News affiliate KTUU in a statement. “The pilot contacted the authorities, and law enforcement officers met the plane. Customers were asked to remain in their seats while three officers boarded the plane, restrained the passenger and took him into custody without incident.”