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California man charged after disturbance on American Airlines flight diverted to Kansas City

AA 1775.jpg
Posted at 3:36 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 16:36:17-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A California man has been charged for causing a disturbance on an American Airlines flight that was diverted to Kansas City International Airport Sunday afternoon.

Juan Remberto Rivas, 50, who is currently in federal custody, has been charged with one count of assaulting and intimidating a flight attendant.

According to a release from the United States Department of Justice, Rivas was a passenger aboard flight 1775 traveling from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

The affidavit in the case states that Rivas walked up to the cockpit area, was holding plastic silverware in his shirt sleeve "like a shank" and attempted to break a champagne bottle, which he was holding by the neck.

He then went on to kick and shove the service cart into a flight attendant.

The affidavit says that he also grabbed onto the handle of the starboard aircraft exit door, and began pulling on it.

Documents state that Rivas was detained after a flight attendant hit him in the head with a coffee pot, and passengers, including a police officer, struggled with Rivas, pulling him away from the door.

Passengers and flight attendants restrained Rivas and secured his hands and feet with zip ties and duct tape, according to the DOJ.

Rivas' hearing has not yet been scheduled. The case was investigated by the FBI.