Woman arrested for smoking on airplane, threatening to kill fellow passengers

Aaron Brown
December 14, 2017

Video taken from a weekend flight shows a woman cursing out fellow passengers and threatening to kill them after allegedly being caught smoking in the plane's bathroom.

According to KOIN6, the woman had been caught smoking a cigarette and tampering with the smoke detector in the aircraft's bathroom.

When she was confronted by crew members, another passenger recorded the woman screaming.

Curbelo was restrained by passengers and crew for 30 minutes until the flight landed, the passenger who shot the video told CBS 13, a local Sacramento news outlet.

A woman is arrested after making death threats on a plane from Portland, Oregon to Sacramento International Airport.

When asked by a CBS 13 reporter (while in jail) what happened, Curbelo said she tried to smoke because of "the anxiety". She's now booked on three counts of felony criminal threats and her bail has been set at $75,000.

"I swear it was like white knuckle the rest of the flight".

Valerie Curbelo in the Sacramento County Jail
Image from video submitted to FOX 12. Valerie Curbelo in the Sacramento County Jail

But Curbelo couldn't say exactly what she was anxious about or what made her act that way.

A male passenger then intervenes but still Curbelo can be heard shouting and swearing and demanding: "Land the plane".

'Our reports from flight attendants indicate a customer violated federal laws by both smoking on board an aircraft and by tampering with a smoke detector in an aircraft restroom. Safety is always our top priority.

Pilots declared an emergency in order to "receive priority handling from air traffic controllers", according to a statement from Southwest Airlines. Saturday's flight had 136 passengers and a five-person crew.

CBS13's Marc Thompson went to the Sacramento County Jail to get Curbelo's side of the story.

She couldn't really tell KOVR why she was flying to sacramento.

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