On Saturday, a woman was caught smoking in the bathroom aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon to Sacramento, California. When the flight crew confronted Valerie Curbelo about her actions, she went into a rage and threatened to “kill everybody” on board. Portland’s CBS affiliate, KOIN, and other outlets learned of the incident from a press release distributed by the airline, which described it as an “inflight disturbance” that was swiftly taken care of by its staff. The 24-year-old woman, the release added, was then handed over to the authorities and arrested after the plane touched down at its destination.
According to additional reporting performed by KOIN and its sister station in Sacramento, however, a much darker picture of Curbelo’s outburst became apparent. This was especially aided by a short video obtained by another passenger, in which Curbelo is seen and heard screaming at Southwest Airlines personnel for kicking her out of the airplane lavatory. “I will kill everybody on this f*cking plane,” she repeatedly shouts at a flight attendent. CBS Sacramento spoke with her about the incident following her arrest, at which point Curbelo blamed her “anxiety”:
“The anxiety, yeah the anxiety,” Curbelo said without elaborating. She did not explain why she threatened to kill everyone. “I don’t know,” she said. “It was not me. It was not me.”
Other passengers who spoke with KOIN and CBS Sacramento about the incident claimed the flight crew had to physically subdue Curbelo following her outburst and keep her in place until the plane landed. Southwest’s official statement, however, did not comment on or confirm these details.