Off-duty pilot charged with attempted murder to trying to shut off engines on Alaska Airlines flight


An off-duty pilot is charged with 83 counts of attempted murder for allegedly trying to shut down engines by pulling the fire extinguisher handles on an Alaska Airlines flight, as per officials.

The plane was originally scheduled to fly from Everett, Washington, to San Francisco but it was later diverted to Portland, due to a “credible security threat related to an authorized occupant in the flight deck jump seat,” confirmed the airline to ABC News.

The investigators have claimed that the suspect had tried to pull fire extinguisher handles on the engines. The suspect was overwhelmed by flight crew and subdued and then handcuffed to a seat, according to a federal official briefed on the probe.


The suspect identified as Joseph David Emerson was taken into custody, as confirmed by Port of Portland. Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office shared that he has been charged with 83 counts of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, and one count of felony apart from attempted murder.