Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

LAX-Bound Plane Forced To Land Early Due To Frenzied, Masturbating Passenger, Police Say

virginamerica.jpg
The plane was forced to land in Omaha (Photo by Leonard Zhukovsky via Shutterstock)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.


A Virgin America flight headed from Boston to L.A. Monday had to stop in Omaha because of an allegedly drugged man who was masturbating mid-flight, who later tried to open an exit door. The Omaha Police Department says that 26-year-old Doug Adams of Woodside, California became increasingly frenzied during the flight, touching himself and attempting to open the emergency door, forcing the crew to land, NBC reports.

Christie O'Toole, a Virgin America spokesperson, said in a statement that the plane had to land because of a "medical incident involving a guest on board." However, Omaha Police say Adams' behavior was due to a drug-related mental breakdown, according to ABC.

Local filmmakers Sam Slater and Paul Bernon (both producers of Drinking Buddies) were sitting in front of Adams during the flight, and said that Adams was wearing a hospital bracelet.

Slater, who also shot cellphone footage of Adams being taken off the plane in handcuffs by police in Omaha, told CBS that Adams was muttering about not wanting to be a violent person. Then he began arguing with a woman seated next to him after returning from the bathroom. After a doctor on the flight took Adam's blood pressure, the flight crew and two off-duty Boston police officers moved him to a seat by himself in the back of the plane. That's when Adams began trying to open the emergency exit door. At one point, Slater tweeted that he helped restrain Adams.

Support for LAist comes from

Adams was taken to a nearby hospital after being removed from the plane, according the U.S. Attorney's Office.