A New Orleans man on a Delta Air Lines flight was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly harmed himself, grabbed a flight attendant and injured her with a “sharp object” after the plane landed.
According to Capt. Jason Rivarde of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, 39-year-old Nelson Montgomery was arrested on charges of aggravated battery, disturbing the peace and simple battery.
He was a passenger on Delta flight 2432, which had landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport after taking off from Atlanta. Around 4 p.m., investigators believe Montgomery hurt himself using the unspecified sharp object, a statement from Rivarde said.
“After doing so, he grabbed a flight attendant,” Rivarde said in the statement. “She suffered two superficial lacerations from the sharp object and was later treated on scene.”
“Several” passengers, Rivarde said, subdued Montgomery until deputies got to the plane and arrested him.
Details about what led to the incident were not clear. In a statement, Delta said only that the flight was met by law enforcement after landing “following a reported customer issue onboard.”
“Delta has zero tolerance for unruly behavior on our aircraft and in our airports,” the statement said. “Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our people and our customers.”
A booking photo shows Montgomery with gauze or some kind of bandage stretched across his neck. After being treated at a hospital for injuries that were not considered life-threatening, he was booked at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center. He remained listed in an online inmate search Thursday afternoon.
Reports of unruly passenger incidents spiked after air travel roared back following the first year of the pandemic, reaching nearly 6,000 in 2021. The numbers have dropped since then, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, with 2,455 reported last year and 1,123 reported through July 30 of this year. While far lower than the peak, this year’s number has nearly reached the total of 1,161 for all of 2019.