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Unruly passenger forces international flight to make emergency landing in Utah

Posted at 11:51 AM, Jul 27, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KSTU) — A flight from London to Los Angeles was forced to land in Salt Lake City, Utah, because of an unruly passenger.

Virgin Atlantic Flight 141 was flying from London and scheduled to land in Los Angeles, but was diverted to Salt Lake City International Airport at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities said United Kingdom resident William Stephen Hayes, 39, was physically detained by flight crew members and other passengers after he became violent mid-flight.

Salt Lake City police said Hayes kicked airplane seats and windows during the flight, and allegedly assaulted a member of the flight crew and another passenger while being restrained.

After landing in Salt Lake City, Hayes was removed from the plane and taken to the Salt Lake County Metro Jail and booked on federal detention hold.

“Due to a disruptive passenger onboard flight VS141 operating from London Heathrow to Los Angeles on Tuesday 26 July, the aircraft diverted to Salt Lake City to be met by police authorities. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we don’t tolerate any behaviour that compromises this," the airline wrote in a statement.

The flight took off for Los Angeles at around 7:30 p.m.

This story was originally reported by Spencer Burt on