Man tries to open emergency door on SLC flight to Portland to ‘share thoughts’ on COVID vaccines

Feb 16, 2022, 1:43 PM | Updated: 1:55 pm
FILE: A Delta Air Lines plane. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
FILE: A Delta Air Lines plane. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A man is facing federal charges after he allegedly tried to open an airplane’s emergency door during a flight from Salt Lake City to Portland, Oregon, “to share his thoughts on COVID-19 vaccines.”

According to court documents, Michael Brandon Demarre was on a Delta flight on Feb. 11 when he tried to open an emergency door on the aircraft.

Witnesses on the flight told Portland police Demarre “removed the plastic covering of the emergency exit handle and pulled on the handle with his full body weight,” before a flight attendant demanded that he stop touching the handle.

Authorities said Demarre complied, and he was taken to the back of the plane, seated and physically restrained.

Flight attendants then asked four passengers to watch Demarre, according to court records, to prevent him from further interference with the emergency doors.

There was no indication Demarre was intoxicated or on any drugs, and after the flight landed in Portland, police say Demarre admitted to trying to open the door “so other passengers would (film) him, thereby giving him the opportunity to share his thoughts on COVID-19 vaccines.”

Demarre is now is facing charges of interference and attempted interference with flight crew and attendants, and threats to interfere with a flight crew and attendants.

As of Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration has received 394 reports of unruly passengers — just over six incidents per 10,000 flights.

The FAA received 5,981 reports of unruly passengers in 2021 and initiated over 1,100 investigations.

As part of the FAA‘s reauthorization bill, the FAA can propose up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passenger cases.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

FILE: Kathy Dalton takes time to teach her kids about nature while they explore the outdoors. (Sour...
Ashley Moser

Nature can help your little ones learn how to count

Preschool directors for the Stokes Nature Center say one of the best and easiest ways to teach your little ones how to count is by going on a walk.
10 hours ago
Ladd Egan

‘The Dignity Index’ launches pilot program in Utah to score messaging from candidates

A new project in Utah is trying to encourage political candidates to use more dignity and get rid of contempt by scoring the words and messaging they use.
10 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Andrew Adams

Trial run of license plate-reading cameras in Tooele met with mixed reactions

Sophisticated license plate-reading cameras made their debut in Tooele, but they're already drawing concerns, and police are clarifying exactly how they work.
10 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Get Gephardt: Accidental bill pay leaves woman fighting two years for a $1,387 refund

A Brigham City woman says she can't get a refund for money she accidentally sent to CenturyLink, so she decided it was time to Get Gephardt.
10 hours ago
These ballots that have been processed must be kept for two years. (KSL TV)...
Daniella Rivera and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

KSL Investigation finds few cases of election crimes prosecuted in Utah 

Nearly one in five Utahns polled believe midterm elections won’t be fair and accurate. As election officials seek to restore voter confidence, KSL Investigator Daniella Rivera went looking for the facts of election crimes in Utah.  
1 day ago
FILE - A rock formation in Arches National Park in the Devil's Garden area (Larry D. Curtis, KSL TV...
Larry D. Curtis

Person recovered at Arches National Park identified as Virginia woman

A dead woman recovered from Arches National Park on Sunday, Oct. 1 has been identified as Yaroslavna Ksenjek, from Arlington, Virgina.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Man tries to open emergency door on SLC flight to Portland to ‘share thoughts’ on COVID vaccines