Police: Clearfield man head-butts flight attendant, causes Delta flight to make emergency landing in Oklahoma

Derek Maas (inset) caused a Delta flight to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma, police say. Mug shot: Oklahoma County Police; file photo of plane: Wikipedia/Daniel2986

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, Sept. 23, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A Delta Airlines flight from Salt Lake City was forced to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma City early Friday morning after a Clearfield man became unruly and allegedly head-butted a flight attendant.

According to a report from The Oklahoman newspaper, Oklahoma City police were notified just after 1:45 a.m. that the passenger, Derek Edward Maas, 28, was restrained on the plane. The captain made the decision to make the emergency landing at Will Rogers World Airport and remove Maas “to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew,” said a police report. The plane was originally set to land in Orlando, Fla.

An officer boarded the plane and instructed Maas to stand, the police report said. The officer noted that Maas’ hands were restrained by zip cuffs and that he was very unsteady on his feet and the smell of alcohol on his breath was “nearly overpowering.”

Officers interviewed a flight attendant who was on board, who said when Maas arrived for the flight he could tell from his behavior that he was intoxicated, but did not think the man to be dangerous. He said he instructed the flight crew not to serve Maas alcohol during the flight.

During drink service, Maas reportedly became agitated when he was denied alcohol, and convinced that same flight attendant to let him purchase two drinks. Maas said he would go to sleep for the rest of the flight if he was served the drinks.

“Unfortunately, the two drinks that Maas consumed very quickly seemed to embolden rather than mollify him,” the police report states. “He demanded more alcohol and (employees) refused to serve him.”

Maas then allegedly became verbally abusive toward the flight crew, and head-butted the employee that was interviewed by police.

The flight was then diverted to Oklahoma City and, upon landing, Maas was arrested and put in the back of a police car. An officer said Maas became agitated and the officer was concerned he would become violent.

Maas later told police he “pre-gamed” with five shots of whiskey before the flight.

He was transported to the Oklahoma County Jail, and booked into the jail without further incident. It’s not yet clear what charges Maas will be facing.


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