BODYCAM: Police arrest man who brought ‘large’ boxcutter on flight from CVG

The plane made an emergency landing in Atlanta last Friday night.
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 3:56 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Bodycam footage from the Atlanta Police Department shows officers confront and restrain a passenger who brought boxcutters on a plane outbound from CVG.

The Frontier Airlines flight was en route to Tampa, Florida, but made an emergency landing in Atlanta around 9:30 p.m. last Friday.

The passenger is William Allen Liebisch, according to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The complaint claims Liebisch assaulted or intimidated a flight crew member or attendant.

Liebisch allegedly brandished a “large” DeWalt boxcutter while standing in the back of the plane and told a passenger he was “going to stab someone on this plane.”

William Allen Liebisch
William Allen Liebisch(Atlanta Corrections Department)

As shown in the bodycam footage, Atlanta police officers wait for most of the other passengers to deboard before making entry around the 6:40 mark of the video. The complaint notes two male passengers remains in their seats.

At that point, the officers take out their tasers and enter the plane cabin, where the man appears to be out of his seat and in the aisle.

The complaint notes “as the final passengers were walking off the plane, the flight attendants alerted law enforcement that Liebisch was running towards the front of the aircraft. Liebisch was then tackled from behind by one male passenger.”

One of the officers tells him, “Sir, hold on. Stop. Stop!”

After the man is tackled down on the aisle floor, the officers pat down his jacket and inquire after the boxcutter.

The officer wearing the bodycam says, “I told you, you’d better cooperate, or you’re gonna get tasered.”

The man raises his hands cooperatively. Then the officers tell him to stand up and help him to his feet. They bind his hands.

The officers tell the man to relax. He answers, “You relax, man, and put them [****]ing handcuffs on right man. I didn’t even resist. This is bananas, man. What the [****] is wrong with you?”

The complaint notes officers discovered another boxcutter during a post-arrest inventory search of his belongings.

No one was injured, according to the airline.

Police arrest man who brought ‘large’ boxcutter on flight from CVG

The man passed through the TSA checkpoint at CVG with two backpacks and additional loose items, according to a TSA spokesperson.

The items went through the CT screening, which creates a 3D image that can be rotated 360 degrees for a thorough analysis, per the spokesperson.

The boxcutters were not identified by the CT operator, who did not fully use the CT capabilities, the spokesperson said. However, the passenger’s property was identified for a further search, and through that search one boxcutter was discovered.

“The visible blades were removed from the box cutter and provided back to the passenger. This is contrary to standard operating procedure which requires these items to be placed in checked bags or voluntarily abandoned. The backpack containing the other box cutter, and the remainder of the traveler’s property, was screened for explosives, but the box cutter was not discovered,” the spokesperson said.

The TSA employees involved in the incident have been placed in remedial training on CT image review and physical search procedures.

Atlanta PD’s investigation is ongoing.

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