LAX-Bound Flight Diverted When Passenger Attacks Flight Attendant, Air Marshal

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
December 10, 2021 Updated: December 10, 2021

LOS ANGELES—An airline passenger, arrested after his assaults on an air marshal and a flight attendant caused a Los Angeles-bound flight to be diverted to Oklahoma City, is facing possible federal charges.

Flight Delta 342 from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) had to make an emergency landing around 7:40 p.m. at Will Rodgers Airport in Oklahoma City, where law enforcement took the man into custody, according to Fox 11.

According to news reports, at some point, the passenger became combative and allegedly assaulted a flight attendant. An air marshal intervened and the passenger then attacked the marshal, who was eventually able to subdue him.

It is unclear what provoked the assaults.

Delta Flight 342 landed at LAX just after 10:30 p.m.

CBS 2 is reporting the passenger, identified as Ariel Pennington, 35, of Washington, D.C., was booked into Oklahoma City Jail on complaints of disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

The flight attendant and air marshal were not seriously injured, CBS 2 is reporting.

“Delta applauds the quick action and professionalism of the crew and federal air marshals on Delta flight 324 from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, which diverted to Oklahoma City after a customer became unruly and was removed
from the flight by local law enforcement,” the airline said in a statement that was reported by CBS 2. “We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”