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Flight makes emergency landing in Salt Lake City due to unruly passenger

Posted at 7:53 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 14:27:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A flight from London to Los Angeles was forced to land in Salt Lake City because of an unruly passenger.

Virgin Atlantic Flight 141 was flying from London and scheduled to land in Los Angeles, but was diverted to Salt Lake City International Airport instead at 4:30 p.m.

United Kingdom resident William Stephen Hayes, 39, was forced to be physically detained by flight crew members and other passengers after he became violent mid-flight.

Salt Lake City police said Hayes kicked airplane seats and windows during the flight, and allegedly assaulted a member of the flight crew and another passenger while being restrained.

The federal complaint against Hayes said he grabbed a male passenger by the throat and attempted to hit him.

After landing in Salt Lake City, Hayes was removed from the plane and taken to the Salt Lake County Metro Jail and booked on federal detention hold.

“Due to a disruptive passenger onboard flight VS141 operating from London Heathrow to Los Angeles on Tuesday 26 July, the aircraft diverted to Salt Lake City to be met by police authorities. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we don’t tolerate any behaviour that compromises this," the airline wrote in a statement.

The flight resumed and left Salt Lake City for Los Angeles at around 7:30 p.m.