How Some Passengers on Frontier Flight With Box Cutter-Armed Man Prevented Any Violence From Being Carried Out

Navy veteran Larry Cumberbatch and Air Force Captain Ben Mutz were among the passengers who were ready to spring into action should the man who brought a box cutter onto their Frontier Airlines flight try anything, they told Inside Edition.

Passengers aboard a Frontier Airlines flight sprang into action when another person on the plane threatened to go on the attack with a box cutter.

The flight from Cincinnati to Tampa made an emergency landing in Atlanta Friday after authorities say the man threatened to stab fellow passengers and crew members with a box cutter.

“He was trying to stick a blade into a box knife,” a woman who sat next to the man on the flight tells Inside Edition. “He kept saying that he wanted to stab people, that he wanted to get up and hurt somebody.”

Navy veteran Larry Cumberbatch says that he switched seats with the woman so he could sit next to the armed man.

“When I approached him, I said ‘I will be sitting here from now on.’ He said, ‘No you're not, there's a lady sitting here.’ I said, ‘Not anymore,’” he tells Inside Edition.

Air Force Captain Ben Mutz was also prepared to jump in.

“He was walking down the aisle, saying vulgarities under his breath,” Mutz tells Inside Edition. 

Cumberbatch said others on the plane were “very frightened and concerned because of 9/11.”

The terrorist hijackers responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks used box cutters when commandeering the four commercial airliners that crashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field while traveling to Washington D.C. Security regulations surrounding flying were significantly tightened in the wake of 9/11, including the banning of box cutters within aircraft cabins.

In the wake of the terrifying ordeal, those on and off the flight are wondering how a man with box cutters in his possession made it through TSA screening and onto the plane.

The TSA says the suspect’s backpack went through the x-ray machine and one box cutter was discovered.

“The visible blades were removed from the box cutter and provided back to the passenger,” TSA said in a statement. “This is contrary to standard operating procedure. The backpack containing the other box cutter was screened but the box cutter was not discovered.”

After the incident, the TSA also sent out a nationwide bulletin to screeners to step up their vigilance.

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