Arizona Man Faces Federal, County Charges for Jet Diversion

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

Brian Vande-Stouwe, 23, of Tucson, Arizona was arrested by Texas A&M University Police after his irate behavior forced the plane on which he was a passenger to be diverted to College Station.

Easterwood Airport Director of Aviation John Happ said he was notified Wednesday evening of a passenger's disruptive behavior on board the Continental Express Jet.

"The first call I got was approximately 8:10 p. m.," Happ said. "That's right after it was called in to the general aviation desk through the tower," Happ said.

He also said that phone call triggered notification of several other agencies.

"We start with UPD and UPD then in turn notifies the FBI, the Highway Patrol. We notify TSA," Happ said.

The first agency to make contact with Vande-Stouwe was University Police. UPD Chief Elmer Schneider said officers were on top of the situation.

"The officers met the subject at the door of the plane and escorted him into the terminal," Schneider said.

The problem began, Schneider said when Vande-Stouwe decided he wanted to get off the plane.

"He apparently had left his seat at some point and had went up and attempted to try to open one of the doors to the the external plane to exit the plane," Schneider said.

During the police interview, Vande-Stouwe admitted to drinking a couple of alcoholic drinks and smoking marijuana before the Continental flight left Dallas. Schneider said Vande-Stouwe now has to answer for a charge in Brazos County.

"He was ultimately arrested by our department for Public Intoxication," Schneider said.

An official with the U.S. Attorney General's Office in Houston said Vande-Stouwe has been charged with Felony Interference of a Flight Crew and Flight Attendant of an aircraft prompting an emergency landing. He will be transferred to federal custody and is scheduled to go before a U.S. Magistrate judge in Houston on Friday.

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