Portland Man Charged After Attempting to Open Emergency Exit on Portland-Bound Flight

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PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland man is facing federal charges after attempting to open an emergency exit on a commercial airline flight from Salt Lake City, Utah to Portland.

Michael Brandon Demarre, 32, has been charged by criminal complaint with threatening to interfere and interfering with a flight crew and attendants.

According to court documents, on February 11, 2022, while on a Delta Airlines flight from Salt Lake City to Portland, Demarre attempted to open the aircraft’s emergency exit door while it was in flight. According to witness statements taken by police, Demarre removed the plastic covering over the emergency exit handle and forcefully pulled on the handle. A flight attendant demanded Demarre cease touching the handle and move to the rear of the aircraft. Demarre complied and was physically restrained by the flight crew. Once in Portland, Demarre told officers he created the disturbance so other passengers would video record him sharing his personal views.

Demarre made his initial appearance in federal court today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case is being investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Portland Police Bureau. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mira Chernick is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.