Bonney Lake man faces federal charge after disturbance on Seattle-to-L.A. flight


    Booking photo for Douglas Smyser, 21, of Bonney Lake, Wash., from the Multnomah County Jail.

    PORTLAND, Ore. - Federal criminal charges have now been filed against a Bonney Lake man who created a disturbance on a flight from Seattle to Los Angeles while allegedly high on methamphetamine, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Portland, Ore.

    The suspect, identified as Douglas B. Smyser, 21, of Bonney Lake, is charged in U.S. District Court with interfering with a flight crew for the alleged disturbance aboard Compass Air Flight 6054. Smyser also has been charged with menacing and second-degree disorderly conduct in a local Oregon state court.

    The incident unfolded after the plane took off from Sea-Tac Airport on Wednesday evening, according to court documents.

    About 20 or 30 minutes into the flight, the captain said the crew became concerned that Smyser would rush the cockpit, and he made the determination at that time to divert to Portland, court files say.

    During that time, Smyser allegedly took several bizarre actions that concerned the flight crew and other passengers, according to the federal charging documents. Among them:

    • Smyser allegedly threw his backpack into the aisle and claimed it wasn't his.
    • Smyser refused to stay in his seat, paced up and down the aisle and made attempts to move to the front of the aircraft.
    • According to one crew member, Smyser told her that "someone has a gun in the back row of this plane," and then said, "let's just keep this between us."
    • Smyser began flailing his arms after the captain made the announcement that the plane was diverting to Portland. But a passenger aboard the flight was able to get Smyser into a seat at the rear of the plane and use his weight to prevent Smyser from getting back up.

    After the airliner landed at Portland International Airport, Smyser was taken into custody by port police.

    During questioning, he said he had taken methamphetamine before the flight and became "suspicious and paranoid" after the plane took off, and that he wanted to go to the cockpit to get "help," court documents say.

    Also during questioning, Smyser wrote a signed apology note to the flight attendant for his actions. He was then booked into the Multnomah County Jail.

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