Passenger who tried to breach cockpit on flight to Nashville makes initial court appearance

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WKRN) – The man accused of trying to breach a cockpit on a flight on its way from Los Angeles to Nashville made his initial court appearance.

A criminal complaint identified Asiel Christian Norton as the passenger aboard Delta flight 386 who tried to breach the cockpit. He appeared in court in New Mexico for the first time Tuesday.

The flight was diverted to Albuquerque after Norton allegedly ran to the front of the plane and began pounding on the door leading to the flight deck yelling “We need to land this plane!”  

In Tuesday’s court appearance, the government filed a motion to keep Norton detained until a resolution in the case. The judge temporarily granted this motion. A preliminary and a detention hearing are currently scheduled for Thursday at 10:30 a.m. CT.

Norton is charged with interfering with a flight attendant and faces 20 years in prison as well as a $250,000 fine.

During the hearing, Norton told the judge he needed someone to notify his family members of the arrest.

The criminal complaint against Norton alleged he “did unlawfully and knowingly assault and intimidate” a flight crew member.

Flight crews told investigators Norton did not appear to be under the influence and hadn’t been served any alcoholic beverages during the flight.

No other information was immediately released but News 2 will continue to follow this for developments.

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