Man Detained in Clarion After Causing Plane to be Diverted

mug-shotCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Sources say a Utah man whose behavior caused a New York-bound jet to be diverted to Pittsburgh was hospitalized in Clarion County before his transfer to an Ohio correctional facility.

Sources say 40-year-old Steven Pectol, of Mapleton, Utah, began acting bizarre about an hour into his flight from Phoenix to New York. He threw items from his carry-on onto the floor, paced up and down the aisle, bumped into passengers, and talked to himself, saying illogical things.

According to a criminal complaint, Pectol told a flight attendant, “You’re with the FBI and here to get me….”

Passengers helped flight attendants restrain Pectol until he could be subdued in plastic handcuffs and his legs held in a seat belt. The pilot diverted the flight to Pittsburgh International Airport for an emergency landing.

Pectol pleaded guilty to “Interfering With a Flight Crew, a felony. He could spend up to 20 years in prison.

According to sources, Pectol told a Pittsburgh-based federal judge that he has been on medication for bipolar disorder during his incarceration at Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown.

Sources say Pectol was hospitalized in Clarion County for two weeks after his arrest, then he was moved to the county jail before being transferred to the Ohio correctional facility.


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