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Man on Southwest flight allegedly tries to break into cockpit

October 19, 2011 |  9:12 am

Southwest Airlines flight diverted

A Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Kansas City, Mo., was diverted Tuesday morning after a passenger allegedly tried to break into the cockpit.

Witnesses say the man became unruly and started screaming during Flight 3683.

The plane left Los Angeles International Airport at 10:40 a.m. and was most of the way to its destination when the flight crew made an emergency call to Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Texas requesting emergency clearance to land.

The crew of the jet reported that the flight was interrupted when a male passenger tried to break into the cockpit.

After landing, the passenger, Ali Reza Shahsauri, 29, was arrested by federal authorities on a charge of interference with a flight crew.

Passenger Doug Oerding told Amarillo.com that Shahsauri started screaming obscenities at other passengers during the flight.

Attendants attempted to calm Shahsauri and then he went to the bathroom at the rear of plane and began making a commotion, Oerding said.

"All of us guys were looking at him like are we going to have to do something," Oerding said.

He said a flight attendant got Shahsauri to calm down.

The flight landed and police officers came on to the plane and took him into custody, Oerding said.

Hawkins said none of the 136 passengers and five crew members was injured. The flight later continued on to Kansas City.


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Photo: File photo of a Southwest Airlines jet. Credit: Matt York / Associated Press