A flight attendant claims he found a fire in a lavatory, and he single-handedly put it out. The plane was forced to take an emergency landing, but the flight attendant was hailed as a hero. Now, investigators found that he may have been the person who started it.
Johnathan Tafoya-Montano, 23, has been arrested and charged with destruction of an aircraft and making false statements. An FBI investigation discovered that he started a fire on the American Airline flight. He was working the flight that went from Dallas to Detroit last month.
Tafoya-Montano was thought to be a hero when he went into the lavatory mid-flight, claimed he discovered a fire and grabbed a fire extinguisher to put it out. An emergency was declared on the plane and it landed, naming Tafoya-Montano a hero who saved the passengers.
An FBI investigation revealed that Tafoya-Montano had gone into the lavatory and lit paper towels on fire with a Bic lighter. He doused the flames but left the towels smoldering. He exited the lavatory, then went back and only pretended to discover the fire for the first time before extinguishing it.
Tafoya-Montano has been released on bail. One of the conditions of his release is that he’s prohibited from flying without court permission. He was allowed to fly back to his home in Detroit, but had to be accompanied by a security officer and was not allowed to get up for the entire flight.
Hopefully, he didn’t have too much to drink.