PORTLAND, Ore. — 32-year-old Portland resident Michael Brandon Demarre was charged with threatening to interfere and interfering with a flight crew and attendants, after attempting to open an emergency exit while on a Delta Airlines flight from Salt Lake City to Portland.
According to court documents published by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Demarre removed the plastic covering over the emergency exit handle and forcefully pulled the handle.
One man on the flight told the Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon “the screeching of the wind and the change in pressure was felt by everyone.”
He then followed a flight attendant’s orders demanding that he stop and moved to the rear of the aircraft. He was then detained by the flight crew and an attendant was able to close the door.
Once in Portland, Demarre told officers that he created a disturbance so other passengers would video record him sharing his personal views on COVID-19 vaccines, according to the affidavit.
The prosecutor also said witnesses reported the man cry laughing and staring into space during the flight.
He made his first appearance in court this week and was ordered detained pending further court proceedings. The case is being investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Portland Police Bureau.