A man jumped from a plane as it departed Los Angeles International Airport last Friday after trying to break into the cockpit. He told federal agents that the large amount of the drug crystal meth he had consumed in the days prior to the incident might have played a role in the incident.
On Friday around 7 p.m., United flight 5365 was scheduled to take off from LAX and head to Salt Lake City, the LA Times reports. That is until 33-year-old Luis Antonio Victoria Dominguez leaned over to the woman he was sitting next to and whispered to her that he was going to jump out. But Victoria Dominguez’s big day out didn’t start on the tarmac of LAX, according to the Washington Post:
Victoria Dominguez’s incident was reportedly days in the making. That Tuesday, according to the complaint, he arrived at the airport from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He wanted to get to Salt Lake City but had no connecting flight. So, he made his way to a hotel in downtown Los Angeles near a bus station. There, he drank several beers and used $20 to buy “a lot” of crystal methamphetamine, according to a sequence of events he gave the FBI.The next day, he moved to another hotel downtown, where Victoria Dominguez smoked the meth “on and off” throughout the day, the complaint says. That’s when he decided that, instead of taking the bus, he wanted to fly to Utah.On Thursday evening, he smoked more crystal meth and left the hotel to catch a flight out of Los Angeles International Airport, the complaint adds. But he missed his flight, ended up leaving the airport, and wandered the streets that night. On Friday, after returning to the airport, he missed his flight again. He was then rescheduled for Flight 5365, which he eventually boarded before its 6:30 p.m. scheduled departure.
By the time he got on the plane, he was already coming down from the high of smoking meth every day for the past three days. He was determined to get to Salt Lake City. As he dosed he overheard the passengers seated behind him talk about the plane not going to Salt Lake City. That’s when he panicked.
Authorities say Victoria Dominguez sprinted to the cockpit and started banging on the door trying to get in. When that didn’t work, he ran to the emergency exit and opened it. How was he able to open it? This dude is something else. According to the Washington Post, Victoria Dominguez told authorities that he “...was familiar with how to open those doors because in the past he had sat in the emergency exit row and moved the handles up and down.” Opening the door caused the emergency slide to partially deploy from the side of the plane.
Before he could jump just a single passenger tried to restrain him. I don’t know if it was fear or what, but you’d think it would’ve been more than one. Breaking free from the passenger, Victoria Dominguez attempted to jump from the plane and onto the partially deployed emergency slide. He missed and landed straight on the tarmac, breaking his leg.
He was caught shortly after. After undergoing surgery on his leg, he’s expected to appear in court this week on Federal charges. If convicted, he could get up to 20 years in prison on charges of interfering with the flight crew.
I don’t know if the pandemic has anything to do with it, but there has been a recent uptick in disturbances on flights in the last couple of months. The FAA is aware of it, with the agency saying they’ve already dished out over $350,000 in fines so far this year. LAX alone has had a rather crazy month with two other incidents before this.