Disruption on Delta Flight Involves a Strange Vaccine Plot

Suspect says he wanted other passengers to record him sharing his views
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2022 1:48 AM CST
Updated Feb 16, 2022 7:05 AM CST
Delta Passenger Tries to Open Emergency Exit in Strange Vaccine Plot
Delta Air Lines plane leaves the gate, Monday, July 12, 2021, at Logan International Airport in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(Newser) – A man who wanted to share his views on the COVID vaccine is accused of disrupting a Delta Air Lines flight Friday. During the flight from Salt Lake City to Portland, Ore., Michael Brandon Demarre, 32, allegedly tried to open the plane's emergency exit, the Washington Post reports. Passengers say they heard a loud sound of air whooshing as he pulled aggressively on the handle, the Oregonian reports. "The screeching of the wind and the change in pressure was felt by everyone," a passenger tells the Register-Guard. Flight crew and passengers alike intervened, the door was closed, and Demarre was restrained. Upon landing in Portland, he was taken into custody.

The FBI says that when asked why he tried to open the exit, Demarre said he wanted "the opportunity to share his thoughts on COVID-19 vaccines" in videos of the incident recorded by his fellow passengers. In passenger video of the incident, he can be heard yelling, "We're all being lied to, wake up!" and talking about COVID vaccines as he is led off the plane by authorities. He now faces federal charges of threatening to interfere and interfering with a flight crew and attendants and faces up to 20 years behind bars. He's currently on probation for a driving under the influence of intoxicants conviction from 2020, and was also convicted in a separate criminal mischief case last year. Passengers say he was laughing and crying simultaneously and staring blankly, causing some to think he was having a mental health episode. (Days ago, a disturbing disruption on American.)

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