Delta flight diverted to Salt Lake International after in-flight incident involving unruly passenger

Aaron Justin Hanson. Photos: Salt Lake County; Gephardt Daily

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan, 29, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Delta Airlines flight en route to Atlanta from San Francisco was diverted to Salt Lake International Airport early Tuesday morning after members of the flight crew were forced to restrain an unruly passenger.

The Boeing 737-900 was about an hour and ten minutes into its flight when pilots notified air traffic controllers of the incident about 12:56 a.m.

According to control tower conversations monitored by Gephardt Daily, Delta flight DL2986 was over Capitol Reef National Park, east of the tiny tourist town of Torrey in south central Utah, when an inebriated passenger, identified by Salt Lake City police as Aaron Hanson, 37, attempted to urinate in the aisle.

The flight crew made the decision to restrain Hanson, and the plane, capable of carrying up to 180 passengers, was diverted to Salt Lake International where it arrived at Gate C7 in Terminal 2 about 40 minutes later.

The aircraft was met by members of the Salt Lake Airport Police along with medical personnel from the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

Hanson was wheeled from the aircraft in a portable aisle chair and taken into custody.

Detective Greg Wilking told Gephardt Daily Hanson was combative and one point hit his head against the wall saying he wanted “to hurt himself so he could sue someone.”

Hanson was booked into the Salt Lake County jail and charged with public intoxication.

The flight was delayed until about 6 a.m. before heading to its original destination in Atlanta.

Gephardt Daily will update the story as more information becomes available.


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