Iowa man taken into custody after allegedly trying to open plane door at Eppley

An Iowa man was arrested at Omaha's Eppley Airfield after allegedly attempting to open a cabin door while a plane was taking off.
Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 5:12 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Iowa man was arrested after allegedly trying to force open a plane’s cabin door as it pulled away from an Eppley Airfield gate Thursday morning.

An arrest affidavit states a Delta Airlines flight was pushing back from the gate preparing to depart Eppley for LaGuardia Airport in New York City just before 6:30 a.m. A passenger noted that Wesley Orban, of Ireton, Iowa, began yelling “God is real” and spoke of demons before jumping from his seat and running toward the front of the plane.

As he approached the front, three flight attendants said they heard Orban shout “God is real” and “Open the doors.” He began pounding on the cabin doors and fought to open them.

One of the flight attendants grabbed Orban from behind in an attempt to stop him; four passengers assisted in forcing him to the ground. One of them grabbed him by the legs while the other three pinned him to the ground.

After being held down, one of the passengers overheard Orban say “I’m embarrassed, I don’t know why I did that.” The three other passengers said they had heard him make the same remark.

The plane’s captain suspended the flight and returned to the gate, where Omaha Airport Authority Police were called in and took Orban into custody for interfering with flight crew members and attendants. He has since been released and faces several federal charges.