A female passenger on a flight from Portland, Oregon to Sacramento, California had a violent mid-air meltdown Saturday after she was caught smoking in the airplane’s lavatory. On cellphone video shot by another passenger, 24-year-old Valerie Curbelo is seen screaming at a flight attendant, “I swear, if you don’t f***ing land, I will f***ing kill everybody on this f***ing plane! I will kill everybody on this f***ing plane! I will! I will!”
Now in custody and being held at the Sacramento County Jail, Curbelo has no explanation for her profanity-laden threatening outbust. Speaking to reporter Marc Thompson of Sacrenento’s CBS13, she says “I don’t know,” when asked why she threatened to kill her fellow airline passengers. “It was not me. It was not me.”
According to friends, Curbelo had been suffering from mental health issues. In an interview with Portland’s KOIN 6 News, an acquaintance who did not wish to go on camera said she took her to a mental health crisis center just days before the incident on the plane. In interviews with CBS13, Cubello also had no explanation for why she was traveling to Sacramento.
In a statement Southwest Airlines said, “Our reports from Flight Attendants indicate a Customer violated federal laws by both smoking onboard an aircraft and by tampering with a smoke detector in an aircraft restroom.” When confronted, Cubello became irate, ripping down an air mask and threatening to kill everyone on the plane. She was restrained by passengers and crew and arrested once the plane touched down. She is being held on $75,000 bail.
When asked by CBS13 why she felt the need to smoke in the middle of the flight, Cebello responded, “The anxiety, yeah the anxiety.”