Unruly passenger forces plane to land at DIA

Posted at 8:30 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 11:02:37-05

Passengers on a plane bound for San Diego erupted in cheers when the plane unexpectedly landed in Denver.

The pilot made an emergency landing on Tuesday night.

There was "a report of a possible passenger disturbance," said airport spokesperson Heath Montgomery.

Passengers tell Denver7 that a man brought his own alcohol on the plane and when flight attendants told him he couldn't drink it, he started yelling, "I'm not a terrorist," and, "We're going to die."

The passenger was intoxicated and disruptive according to Ann Zaninovich with Alaska Airlines.

"Crew asked him to calm down, (he) became agitated and verbally abusive." said Zaninovich.

The man tried going to the front of the plane but others stood in the aisle and stopped him, travelers say. He reportedly started threatening people saying he was going to "cut their throats" with a box cutter.

"It was a little unnerving at first, because he started yelling, 'We're all going to die. You're all going to die.' But then we realized he was just a really drunk guy who was just out of control," Claire Conroy said.

"He had gotten up and was going towards the captain, so I got up, and stood in front of him and said, 'You're not getting by me. And I prevented him from going any farther," Nick Leto told Denver7.

The pilot landed at DIA around 8:30 p.m.

Within minutes passengers started tweeting.

Video from Rebecca Shepard showed Denver Police officers removing the passenger.

Police escorted the man off the plane. So far, charges have not been filed.

Alaska Airlines Flight 769 from Boston continued on to San Diego after he was taken into custody.

No one was hurt.