Passenger who forced plane to divert to Atlanta with boxcutter indicted
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The passenger who forced a Frontier Airlines flight to divert to Atlanta has been indicted.
William Allen Liebisch has been charged with interfering with the duties of a flight crew and carrying a weapon aboard an airplane.
Liebisch was reportedly “disruptive” aboard a Frontier Airlines flight from Cincinnati to Tampa Nov. 11, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Atlanta. He brandished a boxcutter during the flight and a search of his carry-on produced a second boxcutter.
Transportation Security Administration officers in Cincinnati found the first boxcutter but believed they had “rendered it inoperable” by removing the blade. However, Liebisch had a spare blade hidden in the handle.
Liebisch told a fellow passenger he wanted to stab someone; that person promptly told flight attendants, who then asked two male passengers to help keep Liebisch calm. They were successful until the plane landed in Atlanta.
Liebisch charged a flight attendant with the boxcutter as the last passengers disembarked, but he was tackled from behind by a passenger. Atlanta police officers boarded the plane and helped subdue Liebisch. He stopped resisting when the officers said he would be tased if continued.
He could face a sentence of life in prison if convicted.
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