Victoria Dominguez then allegedly sprinted to the front of the plane and tried to enter the cockpit, banging on the door. When he was unsuccessful, he delivered on his promise: He opened an emergency exit door and leaped out of the plane, court documents state.
Now, Victoria Dominguez faces a 20-year maximum sentence in federal prison on the charge of interfering with the flight crew, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Central District of California, which filed a complaint detailing the incident Sunday. It was not immediately clear whether Victoria Dominguez had a lawyer to comment on his behalf.
It is only the latest case of dangerous behavior tied to the Los Angeles airport this month. Only a day before authorities said Victoria Dominguez jumped out of the plane about to take off for Salt Lake City, a man was accused of breaching an airport fence and driving onto the airfield in a silver hatchback with “SOS” written on the hood. Earlier this month, a man was charged after he attempted to enter the cockpit of a plane midflight and was restrained by passengers.
Victoria Dominguez’s incident was reportedly days in the making. That Tuesday, according to the complaint, he arrived at the airport from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He wanted to get to Salt Lake City but had no connecting flight. So, he made his way to a hotel in downtown Los Angeles near a bus station. There, he drank several beers and used $20 to buy “a lot” of crystal methamphetamine, according to a sequence of events he gave the FBI.
The next day, he moved to another hotel downtown, where Victoria Dominguez smoked the meth “on and off” throughout the day, the complaint says. That’s when he decided that, instead of taking the bus, he wanted to fly to Utah.
On Thursday evening, he smoked more crystal meth and left the hotel to catch a flight out of Los Angeles International Airport, the complaint adds. But he missed his flight, ended up leaving the airport, and wandered the streets that night. On Friday, after returning to the airport, he missed his flight again. He was then rescheduled for Flight 5365, which he eventually boarded before its 6:30 p.m. scheduled departure.
When Victoria Dominguez took his seat, he “was coming down from all the drugs he had used the last couple of days and immediately started to doze off,” the complaint says. Then he heard several passengers behind him “laughing and talking about the flight going to a different city than Salt Lake City.”
He began to panic. He unbuckled his seat belt and rushed to the front of the plane, the complaint states, where broke past a flight attendant and began banging on the cockpit doors. When the pilots did not open the door, the complaint says he pushed the flight attendant out of his way and turned toward the front right emergency door. Victoria Dominguez allegedly opened the door, partially deploying the emergency slide.
Victoria Dominguez “was familiar with how to open those doors because in the past he had sat in the emergency exit row and moved the handles up and down,” the complaint says.
A passenger approached Victoria Dominguez and grabbed him by his collar, attempting to keep him inside the plane. As the rolling plane came to a halt, the complaint says Victoria Dominguez twisted free and fell onto the tarmac, breaking his right leg.
As he tried to crawl away from the plane, he was apprehended by Los Angeles Airport Police and transported to the hospital.