Man arrested for storming cockpit of Nashville-bound flight to be released from custody

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The man arrested last week for attempting to enter the cockpit of a Delta flight bound for Nashville will be released to a sober living facility on Friday, according to court documents.

Asiel Christian Norton was arrested Friday after trying to enter the cockpit of the flight from Los Angeles to Nashville. Norton was detained by a flight attendant and several passengers. The flight landed in Albuquerque, NM, where he was arrested.

According to court documents, Norton’s defense team requested release to Hoffman Hall, a sober living facility in Albuquerque.

The U.S. attorneys requested that Norton remain in custody “because he tried to take down a flight.” Prosecutors called Norton a serious danger to the community.

Norton must submit to supervision and a mental health evaluation. He will not be allowed to leave Hoffman Hall except for prearranged doctor visits. His travel is restricted to Bernalillo County where Albuquerque is located. He is also not allowed to contact any person or witnesses on the flight.

Norton waived his preliminary hearing and the court found probable cause to send the case to a grand jury.

Norton has been charged with interfering with flight crew members and attendants, which resulted in the flight being diverted from Nashville to Albuquerque. The flight later arrived in Nashville hours later.

Court documents showed that Norton, 43, rushed the front of the aircraft after takeoff and began pounding on the cockpit door yelling, “We need to land this plane!”

A flight attendant tried to get Norton back to his seat, but he resisted, which resulted in the attendant trying to pin Norton to the floor of the plane. Other passengers stepped in to help the flight attendant detain Norton.