A Southwest flight bound for Ohio had to make an emergency landing in Arkansas because of an unruly passenger who authorities say tried to open an exit door midair and seriously injured someone on board.
Flight 192, traveling from Houston to Columbus on Saturday, diverted to Little Rock after its crew observed disruptive behavior from a passenger on the flight, a Southwest spokesperson told USA TODAY.
According to federal court papers obtained by USA TODAY, the passenger, identified as Elom Agbegninou, bit the right thigh of a fellow passenger who had tried to restrain her after she attempted to force her way through an exit door at the rear of the plane.
The passenger said "She's trying to open the door!" according to court documents filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Court papers also show the passenger told police Agbegninou told him, "Jesus told her to fly to Ohio and Jesus told her to open the plane door" and began shoving the passenger and pulling at the exit door handle.
Local authorities in Little Rock met the flight upon landing and removed Agbegninou from the aircraft, the spokesperson said.
The flight then departed and landed in Columbus.
Agbegninou was arrested and faces federal charges of assault and interfering with flight crew members and attendants.
FBI Little Rock Public Affairs Officer Connor Hagan told USA TODAY the person assaulted on the plane was taken to the hospital. Court papers reveal the person received antibiotics and a hepatitis shot for the bite.
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Hagan said a FBI Little Rock Airport liaison agent and other investigators were working with the Little Rock Police Department, the Little Rock airport and Southwest Airlines.
As of Nov. 1, the FAA had received 2,178 reports of unruly passenger behavior this year, prompting more than 760 investigations. Last year, 5,981 incidents were reported.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Southwest flight makes emergency landing after passenger tries to exit