SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A man is facing federal charges after police say he was having adverse behavioral reactions to methamphetamine while on board a flight, causing the crew to have to divert the plane to Salt Lake City International Airport.
James Harold Jones, 45, was charged with one count of Interference with a Flight Crew by the District Attorney’s Office on Monday.
Jones’ offenses date back to Sept. 3 when he was onboard Delta Airlines flight No. 713 from Portland, Ore. to Atlanta, Ga. and was reportedly behaving so erratically that the flight Captain was forced to divert to Salt Lake City.
According to the charging documents, Jones “would not remain in his seat” while on board and complained that he was feeling sick. After flight attendants gave him ginger ale and got him to sit down “briefly,” Jones reportedly forced napkins and moist towelettes into the vents above his seat and then “was yelling that he was being poisoned, and demanding to speak to the captain and to the FBI.”
Jones allegedly continued to “talk and behave erratically.” Flight attendants reportedly blocked off the area in front of the cockpit door using service carts as a precaution.
Official documents note that at one point Jones was climbing over seats and had to be restrained by other passengers and flight attendants.
The District Attorney’s Office says that Jones was eventually placed in flex cuffs and restrained in a first class seat while the plane was diverted to Salt Lake City International Airport.
The charging documents state that “the flight attendant crew was shaken to the point that a new crew had to be assigned,” and a replacement plane was called in so that the original plane could be checked for dangerous substances.
While arresting Jones, officers reportedly noticed signs of methamphetamine intoxication. Official documents note that Jones admitted to using methamphetamine in the past few days, and “that he frequently has adverse behavioral reactions to meth several days after use.”