An off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot is in big trouble after allegedly trying to take down a plane from a sister airline — and you can tell by the dozens of charges he’s now facing.
44-year-old Joseph D. Emerson — who’s employed by Alaska — was arrested and booked Monday on 83 counts of attempted murder in Multnomah County, OR … this after law enforcement claims he attempted to shut off the aircraft’s engines mid-flight the night prior.
It’s a strange story … apparently, Emerson was hitching a ride on a Horizon Airlines flight — which is owned by the same company that manages Alaska — that was going from Seattle to San Francisco … but which had to divert to Portland because of this alleged incident.
According to cops — who cite crew members onboard — Emerson pulled this incredibly dangerous stunt while sitting in the cockpit’s jump seat … but thankfully, the captain and first officer were able to subdue him and prevent the plane from going down.
ATC audio reportedly captured crew members discussing what happened over the airwaves — with someone saying, “We’ve got the guy that tried to shut the engines down out of the cockpit and he doesn’t sound like he’s causing any issue in the back right now, I think he’s subdued. We want law enforcement as soon as we get on the ground and parked.”
Well, Emerson was indeed met by officials … and they’re accusing him of a lot. In addition to the 83 attempted murder charges, he’s also been hit with 83 counts of reckless endangerment — plus, endangering an aircraft. No word on what possibly led him to do this.
Alaska says the quick-thinking Horizon team are to thank for saving the day. The FAA, meanwhile, says Sunday’s episode is not connected to world events … aka, Israel-Palesine.