A Southwest flight had to be diverted over the weekend when a disturbed woman allegedly attempted to open an aircraft door mid-flight and then bit a passenger who tried to stop her.
According to reports, Elom Agbegninou, 34, was on a Southwest flight from Houston to Columbus, Ohio, Saturday afternoon when she began exhibiting disturbing behavior. While the plane was at approximately 37,000, Agbegninou supposedly walked to the back of the plane and “stared” at an exit door. Flight attendants then instructed her either to use the area restroom or return to her seat, but Agbegninou allegedly refused and instead attempted to open the exit door.
At that moment, a fellow passenger tackled Agbegninou and attempted to restrain her, and Agbegninou reportedly responded by biting the passenger in the right thigh. Court documents indicate that she bit the person with so much force that the passenger “worked their fingers up to (her) jawline in an attempt to have (her) release the bite, which she eventually did.”
Agbegninou then began hitting her head against the plane floor and insisted that “Jesus told her to fly to Ohio and Jesus told her to open the door,” according to court documents.
Southwest passenger claimed ‘Jesus told her’ to open plane door mid-flight, docs saynypost.com
The flight ultimately had to be diverted to Little Rock, Arkansas, where Agbegninou was removed and detained by federal authorities.
The passenger she supposedly bit was likewise removed from the plane and taken to a nearby hospital, where he or she received antibiotics and a hepatitis shot to ward off possible infection. The passenger — whose name, age, and gender have not been released — is said to be a military veteran who has experienced episodes of PTSD and anxiety since the incident and has reached out to a veteran hotline for help as a result.
When questioned, Agbegninou told investigators that she left her home alone, without luggage, and without informing her husband. She said she intended to visit a pastor friend in Maryland. She also supposedly admitted to trying to open the plane door and biting the passenger. She claimed that she “had not flown in a long time” and “became very anxious and normally would not have done those things.”
Agbegninou was eventually arrested and charged with assault within maritime and territorial jurisdiction and interference with flight crew members and attendants.
After she had been removed, the flight continued to Columbus. It landed approximately three hours later than originally expected.