Long trips take their toll on everyone’s nerves, and even the most seasoned passengers are not immune to the stresses that result from a long day of missed connections, delayed flights, and airport crowds.
A certain Stanley Dwayne Sheffield, however, apparently took average anxiety to a whole new level when he erupted in a fit of insane anger on a Delta Airlines flight Friday, April 23rd. The plane, that held a trajectory from Los Angeles, California to Tampa, Florida, had to be rerouted to Albuquerque, New Mexico after the erratic passenger threatened to crash the plane.
Passengers onboard the aircraft provided a textbook example of the involvement that, during the September 11th attacks, prevented terrorists from crashing United Airlines Flight 93 into the White House. Delta staff commended the passengers of the flight for their help in detaining 46 year old Sheffield as he tried to gain access to the flight deck, saving the lives of many on-board the aircraft should the unruly passenger have actually followed through with his threats.
When the plane landed shortly after three a.m., Sheffield was taken into custody and the plane was swept to confirm or deny any real risk of a terrorist attack. To the relief of both Delta and the other passengers present, there was nothing found aboard the aircraft, and the TSA ruled that it was safe for it to take off again.
This is not to say that the passengers on the plane were not rattled by the strange show given by Sheffield, however. The man, upon returning from the airplane lavatory he had just seriously damaged, reportedly grabbed a 2-liter water bottle and began spraying passengers all the while screaming “get behind me Satan”.
As of now, the FBI has reported that the man shows no sign of having planned any of this ahead of time, and mental instabilities have been given as the cause for his outburst – his ex-wife has reported that he suffers from severe bi-polar disorder. A decision has yet to be made on what will happen to him, and whether or not he will be incarcerated.