Luis Antonio Victoria Dominguez, who faces 20 years in prison for interfering with a flight crew after he jumped off a moving plane on the tarmac of LAX, has told the FBI that he bought “a lot” of crystal meth before boarding the flight.
The woman who sat next to the 33-year-old said he leaned over to her and whispered that he was going to jump out of the plane.
“I’m serious,” the woman remembered him saying, The Washington Post reported.
United Airlines Flight 5365 was about to take off from Los Angeles International Airport on Friday evening to fly to Salt Lake City when Mr Dominguez reportedly ran up to the cockpit and started banging on the door, trying to get in.
He then opened an emergency exit door and jumped out of the plane, according to court documents.
The US attorney’s office in the Central District of California filed a complaint on Sunday, and Mr Dominguez now faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.
A day before the alleged actions by Mr Dominguez, a man was accused of breaching an LAX airport barrier and driving onto the tarmac in a car with “SOS” written on the hood.
According to the legal filing, Mr Dominguez had arrived at LAX the previous Tuesday from Cabo San Lucas in western Mexico.
He wanted to travel to Salt Lake City but had no connecting flight, so he went to a hotel near a bus station in downtown LA. There he drank multiple beers and used $20 to buy “a lot” of crystal meth, according to an interview he did with the FBI.
He moved on to another hotel the next day where he smoked meth “on and off” during the day and decided that he wanted to fly to Salt Lake City rather than taking the bus.
Smoking more meth on Thursday evening, he then left the hotel to catch a flight from LAX, according to the complaint.
Missing his flight, he left the airport and roamed the streets that night. He returned to the airport on Friday but missed his flight yet again. He finally managed to board Flight 5365, which was scheduled to leave at 6.30pm.
The complaint states that when Mr Dominguez sat down on the plane, he “was coming down from all the drugs he had used the last couple of days and immediately started to doze off”.
He then heard some other passengers “laughing and talking about the flight going to a different city than Salt Lake City”.
Panicking, he hurried to the front of the plane where he pushed his way past a flight attendant and started banging on the door to the cockpit, the legal filing states.
When the pilots didn’t open the door, Mr Dominguez moved the flight attendant out of his way again and turned towards the front right emergency exit door.
He allegedly opened the door, prompting the emergency slide to partially inflate.
The legal filing said he “was familiar with how to open those doors because in the past he had sat in the emergency exit row and moved the handles up and down”.
Another passenger grabbed Mr Dominguez by his collar and tried to keep him inside the plane. As the rolling plane was stopping, he twisted and got free of the passenger’s grasp, falling onto the tarmac and breaking his right leg, according to the complaint.
He was taken into custody by Los Angeles Airport Police as he tried to crawl away from the plane. He was then taken to hospital for treatment.
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