The 44-year-old off-duty pilot for Alaska Airlines, Joseph David Emerson, has come forward to face charges for attempting to crash an aircraft carrying 84 passengers while it was in flight. 

People on his street were shocked and said he was a model neighbor, husband, and father. 

The passengers claim that on Sunday night, Emerson had a “mental breakdown” and then tried to turn off the engines from his jump seat. 

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According to police papers, Emerson is charged with 83 counts of attempted murder, 83 charges of reckless endangerment, and one case of endangering an aircraft. The incident happened aboard an Embraer 175 aircraft that took off on Sunday at 5:23 p.m. from Everett, which is close to Seattle.

Before reportedly attempting to damage the aircraft mid-air on Sunday night by trying to activate the fire suppression system from his jump seat, passengers claimed Emerson had a “mental breakdown.”

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The news that Emerson, a devoted family guy, had allegedly tried to crash a passenger plane carrying several dozen people stunned and grieved his neighbors.

As reported by Dailymail, according to his neighbors, Emerson was a happy and active parent who enjoyed spending time with his kids on the backyard basketball court he had built especially for them. He had a reputation for inviting his neighbors to get-togethers. They had nothing but praise for his wife, pointing out that she was a caring mother, a swimming coach, and a physical education instructor at a nearby community college.

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Next-door neighbor Karen Yee shared their shock and dismay, saying, “It’s just really shocking, disturbing news.” They make wonderful neighbors. He makes an excellent father. He always plays with the children. He is really amiable. He’s a really kind man. He has a great deal of empathy for others. He’s very wonderful to our son, who has special needs. We simply couldn’t fathom him causing harm to anyone.”