A 33-year-old man is facing potential charges of up to 20 years in prison after allegedly jumping out of a moving aircraft at Los Angeles Airport last week.
Luis Antonio Victoria Dominiguez from La Paz, Mexico, who will face court on Wednesday, was allegedly under the influence of crystal meth when he jumped off a United Express flight 5365, operated by SkyWest Airlines, following an attempt to breach the cockpit.
The man has been charged with interference with flight crew and attendants, a charge which carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
The aircraft had pushed back from the gate just after 7pm when Victoria Dominiguez “began banging on the cockpit door and manipulated the doorknob”, however when that was unsuccessful, he opened the service door and jumped down the emergency slide onto the tarmac, according to the FBI affidavit filed with a complaint.
The twin-engine Embraer 175 was supposed to land in Salt Lake City, however, the jet returned to the gate. Finally on early Saturday morning the plane landed after a late take-off on Friday.
A nearby passenger attempted to restrain Victoria Dominiguez, however, he managed to get away and jump from the aircraft.
“Once Victoria Dominguez landed on the tarmac, he began crawling away from the aircraft. His right leg appeared broken,” the affidavit states.
The passenger was taken into custody on the taxiway and was then treated surgically for his injuries.
The criminal complaint detailing the incident was signed by a United States magistrate judge on Sunday and docketed by the court on Monday afternoon.
According to the complaint, the passenger arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He was supposed to travel to Cabo San Lucas, however, did not have a connecting flight.
He then spent the night before drinking beer and buying crystal meth, worth US$20 according to the FBI.
After flying to Utah instead of catching a bus, he headed to the airport on Thursday, however missed his flight and roamed the streets overnight.
On the Friday, he missed another flight, which led to his rescheduled flight on board the United Airlines SkyWest aircraft.
The FBI is investigating this matter and received substantial assistance from the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.
This follows multiple unruly passengers reported already this year, after a man breached the cockpit on a Delta Airline flight, a woman on Southwest beat a flight attendant, and just before at the same LAX airport on Thursday, a driver plowed through a chain-link fence at a FedEx cargo facility crossing the airfield.
Aviation workers are fighting for tougher prosecution laws against unruly passengers, as over 3,000 reports from airlines have been recorded this year alone.