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Smoker Arrested After Yelling Death Threats on Plane

Tuesday Dec 12, 2017
Valerie Curbelo
Valerie Curbelo  (Source:Sacramento County Sheriff's Department via AP)

Officials say a woman caught trying to smoke on a Southwest flight has been arrested after shouting she was going to kill everyone on the plane.

Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman Shaun Hampton said Monday that 24-year-old Valerie Curbelo was arrested on the tarmac when the plane landed Saturday.

Hampton says when the crew stopped Curbelo from having a cigarette in the plane's bathroom, she threatened to kill all the passengers and crew and became combative.

Southwest said in a statement that the flight from Portland, Oregon, received priority treatment from air traffic control and landed safely in Sacramento.

In a jailhouse interview with KOVR-TV, Curbelo, of Sandy, Oregon, said anxiety drove her to smoke.

She said she didn't know why she made the death threats, adding that it wasn't typical behavior for her.

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