Crime

After eating meth, Bonney Lake man’s bizarre behavior forced a plane to land, records say

A Bonney Lake man allegedly ate methamphetamine before boarding a plane, which was forced to land after the man refused to stay in his seat and talked about having a gun.

Douglas Braden Smyser, 21, had been kicked out of a sober-living house in Seattle and decided to check into a drug rehabilitation center in Malibu.

That’s what led to him board a Compass Air flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Los Angeles International on Feb. 13.

Smyser refused to stay in his seat, tried to move to first-class seating and threw his backpack into the aisle, turning on an electric razor that started buzzing, according to federal charging papers.

Crew members “became concerned” about his behavior almost immediately, and, about a half hour after takeoff, the pilot decided to land in Portland because he was afraid Smyser would rush the cockpit.

Passengers helped keep Smyser in his seat by physically blocking him until officers arrived and took him into custody.

Smyser allegedly wrote an apology letter and admitted he’d eaten meth prior to boarding the plane.

“He stated that during the flight he became suspicious and paranoid, and that he was going to the cockpit to ‘get help,’” according to charging papers. “On the way to the cockpit, he stated in a mid-range voice, ‘There’s a gun.’”

Smyser is charged with second-degree disorderly conduct and menacing. A federal charge of interference with a flight crew has also been filed.

Smyser has six prior misdemeanor convictions, records show.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.


  Comments