- Associated Press - Thursday, January 12, 2017

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma man is facing federal charges after allegedly holding a knife to a child’s stomach during a commercial flight from Los Angeles to Tulsa that was forced to land in Las Vegas.

Fredrick Johnson of Tulsa was charged Monday with simple assault in Nevada, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/2ihnsuO ) reported.

Court documents said Johnson, 39, dismantled and tried to rewire a tablet computer before brandishing a knife in an attempt to get the juvenile to hold the device on Jan. 6. An FBI affidavit said the child’s adult sister intervened before Johnson pointed the knife at the child’s abdomen.

The affidavit stated the juvenile told authorities Johnson “was acting confused and strange during the boarding process.”

An Allegiant Airlines flight attendant reportedly confiscated the knife and moved Johnson to another seat. He was arrested upon landing.

The flight resumed on its way to Tulsa about three hours later, but only after the plane and its passengers’ belongings were searched.

A Tulsa resident on the flight, Annina Collier, said federal agents carried rifles when walked into the plane to arrest Johnson.

“I had my 1-year-old daughter in my lap, and I was crouched over her in case bullets started flying,” Collier said.

The incident occurred on the same day a gunman shot at people - five of them fatally - at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. Los Angeles International Airport officials announced that day they had increased security and law enforcement.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Johnson’s attorney.


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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