Delta Flight Attendant Charged Federally For Onboard Ruckus

Delta Flight Attendant Charged Federally For Onboard Ruckus

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A few days ago I wrote about how a Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta had to divert to Oklahoma City due to an unruly passenger onboard who had to be physically restrained. Arguably what made the story most shocking is that the unruly passenger was in fact an off-duty flight attendant.

This flight attendant has now been charged federally, and some more details have emerged about the incident.

Flight attendant faces 20 years in jail, $250K fine

The Department of Justice is bringing charges against Stephon Jamar Duncan, the 34-year-old man from Atlanta who caused the diversion of Delta flight 1730 last Friday. He’s being charged federally with one count of interference with flight crew members.

If convicted, Duncan faces up to 20 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, followed by three years of supervised release.

More details emerge about the incident

Some more details have emerged about the way that the off-duty Delta flight attendant acted on the flight.

First of all, the man was wearing a helmet, and then allegedly began stashing personal items in a variety of places throughout the plane. When these items were later retrieved, they turned out to be “tennis balls with writings on them, trash, and food.”

Things escalated when the man handed a note to the crew that read as follows:

“I AM ATL BASED, ALERT DELTA MANAGER, TERRORIST ON BOARD. 95835/CONTACT PILOTS.”

At that point he allegedly took to the PA to announce that “the plane is being taken over” and that it would be “going under 10,000 feet.” When the crew tried to get him away from the front of the aircraft, he began physically attacking them, including using his forearm to shove a flight attendant against the wall, while trying to choke her.

That’s the point at which other passengers were asked to help in restraining the man. There’s video of him being pinned to the floor, and then he also had to be flex cuffed.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that things are in fact as they initially seemed with this incident. Clearly this guy is having some issues, and I hope he gets the help he needs.

Bottom line

While there have been endless stories of bad passenger behavior, this story is unique since it was an off-duty flight attendant causing the problems. The person at the center of this is now facing federal charges that could see him spend up to 20 years in jail, and/or be fined up to $250,000.

This kind of behavior isn’t normal and is different than the typical “air rage” incidents we see, so hopefully he gets the help he needs. I guess it’s ultimately good for everyone that he was off-duty and not in uniform, because could you imagine what it would have been like if passengers had to take down a uniformed flight attendant while on duty?

I’m curious to see how this case unfolds…

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  1. Eskimo

    Mean while the person that was probably sitting in 2D who was filming the whole thing got away with not wearing a mask.
    The person with the mask hanging gets the benefit of doubt that the strap was broken from restraining.

    If anything Delta should ban passenger 2D too.

    1. Aussie

      Looks like the only thing being hijacked is this article by mask nazis.

  2. Trey

    @eskimo So if someone films a big crash at an intersection caused by a car that ran a red, police should also go after the guy in the video (in an unrelated car) for not wearing a seatbelt?

    1. Eskimo

      Probably not right at the scene of the accident during the chaos, but after that with video evidence.

      And in some states, they could arrest the person filming it too if that person was operating a vehicle.
      For the guy in the video (in an unrelated car) for not wearing a seatbelt, in some states, if he's black, yes he has a higher chance of police going after him and while they are at...

      Probably not right at the scene of the accident during the chaos, but after that with video evidence.

      And in some states, they could arrest the person filming it too if that person was operating a vehicle.
      For the guy in the video (in an unrelated car) for not wearing a seatbelt, in some states, if he's black, yes he has a higher chance of police going after him and while they are at it maybe search for contrabands.

      Also if someone films a group of people inside the Capitol Building caused by a mobs with weapons or MAGA items, police should also go after the guy in the video (unarmed and not wearing anything MAGA) for sightseeing inside the US Capitol Building?

      Same if, just at a different location.

  3. John Doe

    Hi Ben, How can i make the OMAAT site go back to the old format? Not hating, but in my opinion, the old format was better...

  4. D3kingg

    Considering the job shortage crisis in this country I’d be fine with the employee going under psychiatric help for 30 days and then returning to work on probation.

    1. D3kingg

      I would feel consider flying with this FA again if he underwent psychiatric treatment. Everyone deserves a 2nd chance. They are letting killers out without bail. Are you aware of the unprecedented job shortage in the US ? Whether you’re a janitor with a mop or an architect. We need americans back to work today! Contribute to our economy and country.

    2. OliverCharles

      You must be out of your gourd.

  5. Deborah Hull

    The past 18 months have been the MOST abnormal the world has ever seen. I find it odd that the attendants working didnt find his appearance odd or his behavior . It should NOT have gone this far. This attendant needs intervention and a hospital for good mental health care. Shame on people ignoring him. How will jail help a clearly mentally I'll person ? We need to recognize this. The prisons are currently full...

    The past 18 months have been the MOST abnormal the world has ever seen. I find it odd that the attendants working didnt find his appearance odd or his behavior . It should NOT have gone this far. This attendant needs intervention and a hospital for good mental health care. Shame on people ignoring him. How will jail help a clearly mentally I'll person ? We need to recognize this. The prisons are currently full of people in need of a psychiatric hospital not prison. Shame on the employees indifference. If you See Something Say Something. Shame on everyone

    1. OliverCharles

      So assault and making terroristic threats shouldn’t be illegal and the offenders just should just get free psychiatric care?

  6. D3kingg

    @baba

    That ball was on the line. Chalk was flying everywhere.

  7. Tyler Hoa

    "can you describe the ruckus" ?

  8. Bill

    This is what happens when you dont know how to use crack as a responsible adult.

  9. Richard

    The headline is deceptive, the individual was a passenger on the plane... the individual wasn't a flight attendant on the plane.

  10. M C

    There's gotta be drug involved.

  11. OliverCharles

    @Deborah Hull So assault and making terroristic threats shouldn't be illegal and the offenders just should just get free psychiatric care?

  12. Cheryl Leisten

    How about jail time for anyone who acts on unruly on a plane especially if violence is involved?

  13. MFB123

    If a flight is diverted due to a passenger having a heart attack, I do not blame the anyone. I do not think to myself “he should have done more cardio and eaten better”. I assume the patient has no control over the events. Assuming this person has a psychiatric illness, I’m not sure this type of incident should be treated any different. Obviously, i would feel different if this is drug induced, or if...

    If a flight is diverted due to a passenger having a heart attack, I do not blame the anyone. I do not think to myself “he should have done more cardio and eaten better”. I assume the patient has no control over the events. Assuming this person has a psychiatric illness, I’m not sure this type of incident should be treated any different. Obviously, i would feel different if this is drug induced, or if he went through great lengths to hide his condition rather than seeking medical attention or FMLA. But, with the limited information I have, I believe he should be treated as any other sick passenger.

Featured Comments Load all 20 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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JSnowe33

Mask Karen's are the worst.

Aussie

Looks like the only thing being hijacked is this article by mask nazis.

Deborah Hull

The past 18 months have been the MOST abnormal the world has ever seen. I find it odd that the attendants working didnt find his appearance odd or his behavior . It should NOT have gone this far. This attendant needs intervention and a hospital for good mental health care. Shame on people ignoring him. How will jail help a clearly mentally I'll person ? We need to recognize this. The prisons are currently full of people in need of a psychiatric hospital not prison. Shame on the employees indifference. If you See Something Say Something. Shame on everyone

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