A Frontier Airlines flight from Cincinnati to Tampa was diverted after a man onboard was acting erratically and was reportedly armed with “some kind of knife or weapon.”
One of the passengers, Navy veteran Larry Cumberbatch, volunteered to switch seats with a young woman who was sitting next to the man. She told him she was concerned because the man had shown her that he was carrying some kind of weapon.
Larry says "I told a flight attendant about the situation and then went back to where he was sitting. His feet were up in the aisle seat. So, he just leaned back, relaxing. And I came and I said, 'I'm going to be sitting here right now.' You know, this is my seat. And he said, 'Well, no. That's the young lady's seat.' I said, 'Not anymore'. "I just stood there. And I think it made him... I don't know if he thought I was an air marshal or somebody. He got up and went to the rear, maybe to the restroom. And I continued standing at that point just because I wasn't I didn't want anyone with a knife behind me."
"He basically stood by the bathroom door looking at me, fidgeting with, you know, his clothing. Maybe kind of pacing back a little bit, but not really because of not a confined space. He was trying to size me up to figure out who I was, and I just literally just play nonchalant," Cumberbatch explained. "So, I said, let me just let him know physically I'm there without having to stare at him, because that's going to antagonize, antagonize someone. I just want to, you know, de-escalate so we land."
Once they had safely landed in Atlanta and the other passengers were off of the plane, A former law enforcement member helped Larry escort the man off the plane. The suspect then made an erratic move and Atlanta law enforcement that had met the plane on the ground moved in and arrested him. Cumberbatch later praised all those involved in the incident, including the plane’s staff, who he says were “very brave.” Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident.
No details were available on the circumstances leading up to the discovery of the box cutter, and the person in custody has not been identified.