Elom Agbegninou claims she became "very anxious" during the flight and "normally would not have done those things."
A woman was arrested following an incident on a Southwest Airlines flight that forced the plane to make an emergency landing after she attempted to open the aircraft’s side door at 37,000 feet — and claimed that Jesus had told her to do it.
As KPRC reports, the plane made its emergency landing in Little Rock, Arkansas en route from Houston to Columbus on November 26.
Prior to the emergency landing, according to court documents from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the 34-year-old woman identified as Elom Agbegninou stood from her seat and walked to the back of the plane, where she stood “staring” at the side door.
A flight attendant told Agbegninou that if she wasn’t going to use the restroom, she needed to return to her seat.
Agbegninou then reportedly asked if she could look out the window, and, when she was told no, pushed past the flight attendant and started pulling on the handle of the emergency exit door.
Other passengers started to notice the disturbance, and someone was heard saying, “She’s trying to open the door,” prompting another passenger to get up and rush to the rear of the plane to help detain Agbegninou.
They managed to wrestle her to the ground, but during the scuffle, Agbegninou bit the other passenger on their thigh — and refused to let go until the victim “worked their fingers up to [her] jawline in an attempt to have [her] release the bite, which she eventually did.”
Documents say Agbegninou then began bashing her head against the floor of the plane, adding, “Jesus told her to fly to Ohio and Jesus told her to open the plane door.”
The biting victim was taken to a local hospital to receive antibiotic treatment and a hepatitis injection, and has been suffering from PTSD and anxiety since the incident.
Per The Independent, Agbegninou was said to have been traveling alone. She carried no luggage with her, and reportedly did not tell her husband that she would be flying.
Agbegninou told authorities that she was on her way to Maryland, intending to stay with a family friend who was working as a pastor. She also said that it had been a long time since she’d last flown, but sometime during the flight, she struggled to breathe and stood up from her seat.
According to legal documents, Agegninou claims she “became very anxious and normally would not have done those things.”
She now faces federal charges of assault within maritime and territorial jurisdiction, and interference with flight crew members and attendants.
Believe it or not, this is not the strangest emergency landing in recent memory. Read about the time a plane was forced to land because a stowaway cat attacked the pilot. Then, read the story of the woman who bit off a Chinese restaurant owner’s ear because she was unhappy with her order.