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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Mexican National Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Attempting to Breach Cockpit then Jumping from Departing Airplane at LAX

          LOS ANGELES – A Mexican national was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison for attempting to breach the cockpit of a commercial airliner taxiing at Los Angeles International Airport, assaulting a flight attendant who tried to stop him, then opening the exit door and jumping out of the aircraft.

          Luis Armando Victoria Dominguez, 34, of La Paz, Mexico, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who also ordered him to pay $20,132 in restitution.

          Dominguez pleaded guilty in October 2021 to one count of interference with flight crew members and flight attendant.

          On June 25, 2021, Dominguez was a passenger on United Airlines flight 5365, operated by SkyWest Airlines, that was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. Soon after the plane pushed back from the gate, Dominguez “sprinted” to the front of the aircraft past a seated flight attendant and “began banging on the cockpit door and manipulating the locked doorknob,” according to an FBI affidavit that was filed with a criminal complaint in this case.

          When he failed to gain entry to the cockpit, Dominguez pushed past the flight attendant and went to the emergency exit on the right side of the plane, where he managed to partially open the door, causing the emergency slide to partially deploy, the affidavit states. While a nearby passenger attempted to restrain him, Dominguez managed to get away and jump from the aircraft, missing the emergency slide.

          “Once…Dominguez landed on the tarmac, he began crawling away from the aircraft. His right leg appeared broken,” the affidavit states.

          “[Dominguez] assaulted a flight attendant and endangered the lives of countless others when he attempted to breach the cockpit of the plane and then partially deployed a slide while the plane was taxiing, causing the pilot to immediately shut off the engine to avoid having the slide sucked into the engine,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “[Dominguez’s] unruly conduct damaged the plane, taking it out of commission for four days.”

          The FBI investigated this matter and received substantial assistance from the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.

          Assistant United States Attorney Lyndsi C. Allsop of the General Crimes Section prosecuted this case.

Contact: 
Ciaran McEvoy Public Information Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) ciaran.mcevoy@usdoj.gov (213) 894-4465
Press Release Number: 
22-010
Updated January 26, 2022