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Suspect in knife threat on Vegas flight called danger to community


SALT LAKE CITY >>  A Utah man held on charges that he smuggled a knife onto an airplane, then threatened to kill a passenger, police and an FBI agent, has been ordered jailed pending a psychiatric evaluation.

David Alan Anderson, 60, was removed from a Delta Airlines plane in Salt Lake City before it left for Las Vegas on Sunday after he threatened to slit the throat of a passenger during an argument over the armrest, according to court records.

Authorities later found a knife in his carry-on bag, and the man was arrested.

A federal judge in Salt Lake City on Thursday ordered Anderson to undergo a mental health evaluation.

He is charged with possessing a dangerous weapon on an aircraft and retaliation against a federal officer by threat of murder.

“I’m going to kill you in front of your children,” Anderson told a police officer, according to authorities.

“It will give me a lot of pleasure to see you again, but you won’t see me, Bucko,” he later told FBI agents.

In court Thursday, Anderson’s attorney told the judge his client was a retired Salt Lake City attorney who wasn’t taking his medication for anxiety and a bipolar disorder.

“What’s important here is none of these threats were acted upon,” attorney Steven Killpack said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Kennedy called Anderson a “danger to the community and a danger to himself.” He said Anderson had a string of run-ins with the law over the past year, including assaulting a police officer and attempting to jump off a Salt Lake City hotel balcony.

“We are very concerned that if he is released, he will pose a danger to the community,” Kennedy said.

The officer who was working the X-ray machine when Anderson came through with the knife was sent for further training, said Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lorie Dankers.

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