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Man on Vegas flight accused of threatening seatmate over armrest

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SALT LAKE CITY >> A Utah man faces federal charges after authorities say he smuggled a 3-inch knife onto a commercial flight and threatened to kill a passenger and two law enforcement officers.

David Alan Anderson, 60, was charged Tuesday in Salt Lake City’s federal court with possessing a dangerous weapon on an aircraft and retaliation against a federal officer by threat of murder.

If convicted, Anderson faces up to 20 years in prison. A detention hearing is set for Thursday.

Authorities say Anderson was removed from a Delta Airlines plane in Salt Lake City before it left for Las Vegas on Sunday after he threatened to kill a passenger.

Court documents allege that before his Delta flight’s scheduled departure Sunday, Anderson elbowed the passenger next to him to “claim” an armrest, then placed his foot on the person’s leg, prompting the seatmate to tell Anderson to move over. 

The complaint says Anderson threatened the passenger saying, “If I have a knife, I would slit your throat.”

The complaint says responding officers found a knife in Anderson’s bag. After his arrest, the complaint says, he threatened police and FBI agents. 


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