(AP) — Several airline passengers rushed to subdue a man who held a sharp object to a flight attendant’s neck shortly after landing in New Orleans, keeping him immobile until deputies could take him into custody, authorities said Thursday.
Nelson Montgomery, 39, is believed to have injured himself with a sharp object then grabbed the female flight attendant, who suffered two superficial cuts, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Officers removed the New Orleans man after the Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta arrived Wednesday afternoon at Louis Armstrong International Airport. He was charged with aggravated battery, simple battery and disturbing the peace.
It wasn’t clear what motivated the violent outburst.
WVUE-TV, a Fox affiliate in New Orleans, reported that Montgomery was bleeding profusely from the neck, and a passenger said he was holding what appeared to be a shard of broken glass against the flight attendant’s neck and threatening to harm her if anyone got too close.
A mug shot provided by the sheriff’s office showed a bandage on his neck.
Montgomery was treated at a hospital for injuries that were not considered life-threatening, and later was booked into the parish jail.
The flight attendant was treated on the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.
Delta said the plane was met by law enforcement after “a reported customer issue.”
“Delta has zero tolerance for unruly behaviour on our aircraft and in our airports,” an airline spokesman said in a statement. “Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our people and our customers.”
Another passenger on the Airbus A321 jet, Raquel Davis, told The Times-Picayune newspaper of New Orleans she was impressed that the crew kept the rest of the passengers calm.
“It’s surprising that nobody was raising a ruckus,” Davis said. “It was weird in a good way.”