KC Royals farmhand faces federal charges after alleged assault aboard Delta flight

Kansas City Royals minor-league infielder Darnel Collins is facing federal charges after an incident aboard a Delta Airlines flight.

Collins, 19, faces one count of interference with a flight crew and one count of assault by striking, beating and wounding aboard an aircraft.

On Thursday, Collins was scheduled to appear at the United States District Courthouse in Salt Lake City.

“The Kansas City Royals are aware of the situation and will continue to monitor,” a Royals spokesperson told The Star.

According to court documents, Collins was traveling back to the U.S. aboard Delta Flight 57 on Jan. 21. A citizen of The Netherlands, he’d departed from Amsterdam and was en route Salt Lake City.

About an hour after takeoff, Collins allegedly began engaging in unruly and abusive behavior. Witnesses reported that Collins was “loud, disruptive, threatening and abusive” to others aboard the flight, according to court documents.

The prosecutor’s affidavit says Collins’ behavior escalated during the commotion. Collins is alleged to have followed and touched multiple passengers, at one point grabbing a female passenger’s arm. The document states that Collins didn’t let go of the female passenger’s arm until other passengers and flight crew intervened.

Flight attendants moved Collins to the back of the plane during the flight, according to the affidavit, and relocated approximately eight passengers in hopes of avoiding further issues.

Collins was moved to the back row of seats, the document says, but continued to touch other passengers. He also allegedly spit at a passenger, with his saliva reportedly striking at least two other nearby passengers.

Collins was restrained in “flexi cuffs” (zip-ties) at his wrists, as well as three connected seat-belt extenders, per court documents. This occurred after Collins continued to unbuckle his seatbelt and stand up on the flight.

The seat-belt extenders were placed around Collins’ midsection for approximately two hours in order to keep him seated for the remainder of the flight, the document states. Flight-crew members had to check on Collins — and have someone with him to monitor — for approximately nine hours of the 10-hour flight.

He was taken into custody once the flight arrived at Salt Lake City International airport.

Collins signed a minor-league contract with the Royals in 2021. His older brother, Darryl, also plays in the Royals’ minor-league organization.

Darnel Collins has spent three seasons with the Royals in the Arizona Complex League. He hit .172 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 27 games last season.