PORTLAND, Ore – A plane flying from Seattle to Sacramento earlier this week had to make an emergency landing in Portland after a passenger reportedly began flashing gang signs, swearing belligerently and scaring passengers while demanding to see the pilots.
The man, Lamar Sheron Rogers, was met by Portland Airport Police and promptly arrested.
Court documents allege Rogers boarded the Southwest Airlines plane at SeaTac on the morning of March 4th and immediately began demanding loudly that he be seated in first class, despite there not being a first class section on that flight.
Flight attendants say next Rogers was told to stow his bag three times before he responded, “I do what I want.”
As the flight pushed back from the gate Rogers is said to have pushed his attendant call button repeatedly and used profanity to demand a drink. One passenger seated nearby told investigators Rogers became “agitated and vulgar” so she requested that she and her daughter be reseated as they were ‘extremely scared.’
Court documents say that once the flight was in the air Rogers continued his erratic behavior by shouting “emergency” repeatedly, screaming for three glasses of wine and shouting “Jesus loves you.”
Flight attendants then told FBI investigators Rogers began loudly demanding that the pilot come and speak with him.
Several passengers and members of the flight crew told investigators that they were so scared they believed Rogers was about to get physically violent. One off-duty flight attendant began making plans to get “zip ties” from his bag in case he needed to forcibly subdue Rogers. Another flight attendant said she was so scared she boiled water to use against Rogers if he tried to approach the cockpit.
At this point the pilot decided to divert to Portland and upon landing officers boarded and escorted Rogers off the plane. Officers say that as they walked Rogers kept making references to Jesus saying “Jesus loves you” and “praise Jesus.” Rogers also accused to flight crew of racism.
During an interview with police, Rogers allegedly said he had smoked a type of marijuana called “purple hash” prior to the flight, but said he did not feel high when he came on board the plane.
Rogers now faces prosecution in Federal court in Oregon.