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Man charged with spitting, causing major disturbance on flight from Amsterdam to Salt Lake City

Holiday Travel
Posted at 12:48 PM, Feb 01, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — A man was charged in federal court last week after allegedly causing a ruckus for several hours on an international flight to Salt Lake City, and even spitting on fellow passengers.

Law enforcement at the Salt Lake City International Airport said they were alerted to an incoming flight with an "unruly and abusive" male passenger on board on Jan. 21.

Delta Airlines flight #57 had departed from Amsterdam, Netherlands, and was en route to Salt Lake City when the man's actions caused a disturbance for several hours, concluding with him being restrained onboard the plane.

A passenger told police that the man, identified as 19-year-old Darnel Silver Collins, started causing a commotion just one hour into the 10-hour flight. He was "loud and disruptive" and was "tapping" other passengers, the witness said.

Collins, who is a Netherlands citizen and a resident of Arizona, reportedly escalated the behavior and began following a female passenger around. The passenger asked a flight attendant for help and ultimately pushed him away after he kept touching her.

Witnesses said Collins then grabbed a woman's arm as she exited the bathroom, and he wouldn't let go until others intervened. Flight attendants then moved at least eight passengers to different seats so he wouldn't disturb them, but he turned around in his seat and kept trying to talk to other passengers — until it became aggressive, a flight attendant said. One of the flight attendants said they feared that a physical altercation might happen, so he was moved to the very back of the plane and other passengers in that area were moved. Still, he kept touching people as they walked past and even touched passengers two rows ahead of him, according to the charging documents.

According to police, Collins then spit at a passenger, and at least two people were hit with his spit. He also reportedly called one flight attendant an expletive.

Due to the continued disturbance, the flight crew restrained him with "flexicuffs" (single-use handcuffs that are similar to zip-ties). But he still kept unbuckling his seatbelt and standing up, so he was eventually restrained with multiple seatbelt extenders wrapped around his body for the last two hours of the flight.

Police said Collins' actions prevented the flight crew from performing their usual duties during the flight because someone had to constantly be watching him.

Collins was charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office with assault, as well as "Interference with a Flight Crew." As of Wednesday, he was being held in the Salt Lake County Jail.

A press release stated that Collins is a minor league baseball player for the Kansas City Royals franchise, and he travels home to the Netherlands in the off-season.