The Federal Aviation Administration said in an emailed statement Monday that it was investigating an incident involving a passenger aboard Delta Flight 1714 from Los Angeles to Seattle on Saturday morning.
A spokesperson for the regulator said the passenger opened the door to the Boeing 737, deployed the inflatable emergency exit slide and exited the aircraft while it was still stationary but preparing for takeoff.
A Delta representative said Fortune via email on Monday that the flight had returned to the gate on Saturday due to an “unruly passenger”.
“The aircraft was waiting to taxi for takeoff when the passenger exited the aircraft and was initially detained by Delta personnel before being arrested by local law enforcement,” they said. . “Customers have been relocated to a new plane.”
A Los Angeles Airport Police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Fortune.
Data from the FlightAware flight tracker shows that the flight arrived in Seattle almost four hours late, after driving for just over four hours.
Delta said Monday it apologized for the delays felt by passengers on the flight to Seattle.
Gillian Sheldon, a passenger on the plane, described the incident in a series of tweets sent from the plane.
“Holy shit,” she said. “As my flight was leaving the gate of LAX, a man ran from the back of the plane and opened the door. The flight attendants tried to stop him but he deployed the slide and jumped off.
— Gillian Sheldon (@gilliansheldon) March 25, 2023
She later told NBC News that the passenger was “clearly” agitated as he tried to escape the plane.
“[A flight attendant] said ‘you can’t open the door’ and grabbed him, and in two seconds he opened the door,” Sheldon told the outlet.
NBC News reported that the FBI had been informed of the incident by local law enforcement, but it was unclear whether the passenger faced charges.