A man who officials said tried to break into the cockpit, assaulted a flight attendant and then jumped out of the exit door of a moving plane at Los Angeles International Airport was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison.
Luis Armando Victoria Dominguez, a 34-year-old resident of La Paz, Mexico, was also ordered to pay $20,132 in damages after he previously pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with a flight crew member and flight attendant, according to US Attorney. Office.
On June 25, 2021, Dominguez was a passenger on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City.
Shortly after the plane took off from the gate, Dominguez ran to the front of the plane and “began banging on the cockpit door and manipulating the locked door handle,” the FBI said in a statement.
After failing to get into the cockpit, prosecutors allege in a press release: “Dominguez squeezed past the flight attendant and made his way to the emergency exit…where he managed to partially open the door, causing the emergency flap to partially deploy.”
Prosecutors say the passenger tried to restrain Dominguez, who managed to jump out of the plane. According to court documents, Dominguez injured himself when he landed on the runway and tried to crawl away.
Fresh into the country from Mexico, he tried to get to Salt Lake City, missed a couple of previous flights and used methamphetamine in previous days, the criminal complaint says. He told the FBI that he panicked after allegedly hearing other passengers say their destinations were elsewhere and he needed to get off the plane because he felt unwell and panicked.
The pilot was forced to turn off the engines as soon as the emergency exit opened to avoid the sled being sucked into the engine, prosecutors said. The prosecutor’s office added that the aircraft had not been operated for four days.
The incident was investigated by the FBI with the help of the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.