Airplane Armrest Turf War Leads to Threats of Throat-Slashing

David Alan Anderson is not an exemplary traveler. After the 60-year-old Salt Lake City native recently boarded a Las Vegas-bound Delta flight, he immediately started elbowing the passenger seated directly next to him in an attempt to "claim" the armrest, according to a federal complaint. That led to Anderson putting his "foot on the passenger's leg," to which the passenger responded: "Sir, you are going to have to move over."

Five minutes later, the passenger felt Anderson's eyes burning a hole through him. Then Anderson said, "If I have a knife, I would slit your throat" — a distressing claim indeed (to say nothing of a complete mangling of modal auxiliary verb tenses). The passenger informed flight attendants, who noticed Anderson reaching into his bag repeatedly. They called Salt Lake police.

Anderson denied everything, but a search of his carry-on revealed a Gerber folding knife with a 3-and-a-half inch blade. Anderson was then arrested and brought to a police station where he was questioned by FBI agents.

At the station, the complaint says, Anderson made numerous profane threats to police and FBI agents including, "Your days are not long," "It's a shotgun in the chest," "I'll pull your eyeballs out," and "It will give me a lot of pleasure to see you again, but you won't see me, bucko."

Anderson faces charges of dangerous weapon on an aircraft and retaliation against a federal law enforcement officer by threat of murder. All over an armrest. It's chilling to think what would have happened had he stuck around long enough to be informed that those disposable headphones were going to cost him two dollars, credit card payment only.

[deseretnews.com, image via Shutterstock]