An American Airlines flight attendant was arrested by the FBI for what has to be one of the most harebrained schemes of all time.
Johnathan Tafoya-Montano, a 23-year-old flight attendant from Texas, allegedly set an aircraft bathroom on fire while aboard a flight from Dallas to Detroit.
During the entire ordeal, he reportedly tried to portray himself as a hero for distinguishing the flames that he set!
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He came up with a slew of “accident” stories to tell authorities. He later admitted that he purposely set fire to paper towels in the bathroom and then put it out after allowing it to gain intensity, according to the Detroit Free Press.
After extinguishing most of the flames, he exited the bathroom and stood in the hallway for several minutes, then pretended to “discover” a fire onboard. He caused a scene, alerted other flight attendants to an “emergency” and went into the lavatory to extinguish what was left of the burning paper towels.
Luckily, no one was injured during the stunt but the flight made an emergency landing at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Tafoya-Montano has been charged with “destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities” and “false statements or entries generally.” He was released from custody on bond — one of the conditions is that he cannot board an airplane without permission from the court.
While no official motive has been reported, one can only surmise from his actions that Tafoya-Montano was trying to get his 15 minutes of fame.
He must have thought that “saving” a plane full of passengers from a fire would surely make him a hero and probably even earn him a pay raise, among other accolades.
Too bad he didn’t thoroughly consider the humiliating consequences of getting caught. If he had, he probably wouldn’t have gone through with such a ridiculous scam.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters/Mike Stone