According to reports, 44-year-old Joseph Emerson, a devoted husband and father to his Pleasant Hill neighbors in California, had a “mental breakdown” on an Alaska Airlines flight from Washington to San Francisco.

He is accused of making a risky move to turn on the fire suppression system while he was off duty and sitting in the cockpit jump seat. This may have resulted in an engine shutdown and a disastrous drop.

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Emerson was restrained by the flight’s captain and first officer, who then carried out an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon. As soon as the aircraft crew touched down, they went straight to the 83 passengers and explained the situation. 

A flight attendant clearly said, “He had a mental breakdown,” according to passenger Aubrey Gavello. We had to remove him off the aircraft right away.” After confirming the occurrence, Alaska Airlines guaranteed that no power to the aircraft was ever lost and that all of the crew and passengers got off the aircraft safely.

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Emerson is accused of 83 counts of attempted murder, 83 cases of reckless endangerment, and one case of endangering an aircraft, according to police documents. The event transpired on board an Embraer 175 aircraft that departed from Everett, near Seattle, at 5:23 p.m. on Sunday.

His neighbors were shocked and saddened to learn that Emerson, a devout family man, had allegedly attempted to crash a passenger plane carrying several dozen passengers.

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Emerson was a happy and involved parent who loved spending time with his children on the backyard basketball court he had constructed particularly for them, according to his neighbors, as reported by Dailymail. He was known for asking his neighbors to social gatherings. They were all praise for his wife, mentioning that she was a physical education instructor at a local community college, a swimming coach, and a loving mother.