A 24-year-old Oregon woman was arrested over the weekend after video captured a passenger threatening to “kill everybody” on a Southwest Airlines flight headed to Sacramento from Portland.
The incident, which took place Saturday afternoon aboard Flight 2943, began when the passenger tried to smoke in a bathroom and tamper with the smoke alarm, according to a Southwest Airlines statement obtained by Portland television station KOIN.
“Our Crew enforced the regulation and that was followed by the passenger outburst,” the statement read.
A fellow passenger who filmed the incident told television station KOVR in Sacramento that after being ordered to return to her seat, the woman began making threats after loudly demanding that the plane land.
“I swear if you don’t f—ing land, I will f—ing kill everybody on this f—ing plane,” she can be heard yelling in the footage, repeating the death threat against her fellow passengers as a crew member tries to intervene and calm the angry woman down.
The person who shot the video — who did not want to be identified — told KOVR the woman was physically restrained for the last 30 minutes of the flight after pushing a flight attendant. A nonstop flight from Portland to Sacramento takes roughly 1 hour 30 minutes, according to the airline’s website.
Southwest did not confirm all of the details from witness accounts, but the company did say the aircraft was met by law enforcement when it landed in Sacramento.
“Our Crew handled the situation onboard until the plane landed and local authorities stepped,” the statement said.
The passenger, identified by KOVR as 24-year-old Valerie Curbelo, spoke with the station from jail on Sunday. She explained that she lit up a cigarette in the airplane bathroom to calm her anxiety, though she couldn’t articulate what she was anxious about.
When asked why she made the threats, Curbelo responded, “I don’t know. It was not me. It was not me.”
A woman named Valeri Lucille Curbelo was arrested by personnel from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s Airport Bureau on suspicion of making criminal threats, according to inmate records. She remained in custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail as of Monday night.
Curbelo is being held on $75,000 bail, according to inmate records. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.