EXCLUSIVE: Video released of man with box cutters on plane diverted to Atlanta

Video released of man with box cutter on Frontier flight
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 6:07 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - We have an exclusive new video on Atlanta News First showing the moment Atlanta Police officers taking down a Frontier passenger with a potential weapon.

It happened late last week. The plane, which was on its way from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Tampa, Florida, was forced to land unexpectedly in Atlanta last Friday night.

The Transportation Security Administration said a passenger on board the flight was being disruptive before the pilot diverted to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport.

According to the criminal complaint, a man named William Allen Liebisch brandished a “large box cutter” during the flight and told a passenger that he was going to “stab someone on this plane.” The decision was made to divert to Atlanta.

“The passenger in the window seat looked at me and said hey he has a knife and he told me he was threatening to stab people, we need to say something to somebody. So, I went up and talked to the flight attendants in the front of the airplane and let them know like this guy has a box knife and he’s been telling us he wants to stab people,” Frontier Passenger Lillian Hoffman said.

When police officers boarded the plane in Atlanta, they observed Liebisch standing at the rear of the aircraft holding an unidentifiable object in his hand. The officers ordered the flight crew to deplane all the passengers. All passengers complied except Liebish and two other male passengers who remained in their seats.

As the final passengers were exiting, the flight crew informed the officers that Liebisch was running toward the front of the plane. Liebish was then tackled from behind by a passenger.

After the incident, passengers at Atlanta’s airport expressed concern that he was able to get through TSA with two boxcutters.

According to CNN, one of the box cutters was discovered at the originating airport. The blades were removed and the box cutter was returned to the man.

The TSA said they reviewed the incident found the agents did not fully use the technology at their disposal which would have revealed the box cutter inside the passenger’s carry-on luggage and they did not follow protocol when they returned the “visible blades” to the passenger after an inspection. The TSA also said it would conduct “shift briefs” and hold additional training after the incident.

Liebisch is being charged with interfering with the performance of the duties of a flight crew member or flight attendant by intimidating the member or attendant.