Cops: Air Marshal Tried to Help, but Flier Assaulted Him, Too

Ariel Pennington arrested after 'unruly' behavior on Delta flight
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2021 11:25 AM CST
Cops: Air Marshal Tried to Help, but Flier Assaulted Him, Too
In this Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, file photo, a Delta Air Lines jet sits at a gate at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Another report of a dust-up in the air, this time on a Delta flight that departed from Washington, DC, Thursday night. It was bound for Los Angeles but ended up landing in Oklahoma City, where Police Capt. Arthur Gregory told CNN a passenger assaulted a flight attendant and then assaulted the air marshal on board who tried to wrangle the male passenger. However, "the air marshal was basically able to get them in custody," Gregory said, per NBC News, who identifies the passenger as Ariel Pennington.

The 35-year-old was taken off the flight and arrested for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. The Sacramento Bee reports police did not provide details about the origins of the incident, other than to describe Pennington as "unruly." CBS Los Angeles reports he could face federal charges. The flight resumed its journey after roughly an hour's delay. Delta commented to say it "applauds the quick action and professionalism of the crew and Federal Air Marshals on Delta flight 342. ... We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience." The Bee reports that as of Friday, the FAA has been on the receiving end of more than 5,550 reports of unruly conduct. (In November the FAA announced it was seeking some serious fines from eight passengers.)

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