Baton Rouge, LA – Andrew Alessi forced his way past two American Eagle workers and locked himself inside a plane’s cockpit on Wednesday afternoon. The incident occurred at approximately 12 pm and led to authorities cutting power to the aircraft engines so Alessi couldn’t start the empty airplane.
Alessi took control of the American Airlines jet at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport but quickly surrendered to authorities when he realized the plane had been made immobile and was surrounded by law enforcement officials.
According to airport spokesman Jim Caldwell:
“He stayed there for several hours while police and FBI negotiated with him. He eventually came out voluntarily.”
Alessi had purchased a ticket shortly prior to the flight, and he cleared security with a single piece of carry-on luggage. Shortly after making his way towards the plane, the flight to Dallas/Fort Worth was cancelled and passengers were being given alternative flight options.
The man’s state of mind is not known at this time, and, according to an FBI spokesman, he will likely will be charged with interfering with a flight crew.
Baton Rouge Police worked with the FBI to take Alessi into federal custody. Andrew Alessi was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison where he will remain until the investigation is complete.
American Airlines has promised to review its security measures to ensure future incidents of this type do not occur.
Messages to Alessi’s listed phone number, and emails have not been returned at this time.
Here is an ABC News report of the incident: