Sacramento County sheriff’s spokesman Shaun Hampton said Monday that 24-year-old Valerie Curbelo was arrested on the tarmac when the plane landed Saturday.
Hampton says when the crew stopped Curbelo from having a cigarette in the plane’s bathroom, she threatened to kill all the passengers and crew and became combative.
Southwest said in a statement that the flight from Portland, Oregon, received priority treatment from air traffic control and landed safely in Sacramento.
In a jailhouse interview with KOVR-TV, Curbelo, of Sandy, Oregon, said anxiety drove her to smoke.
She said she didn’t know why she made the death threats, adding that it wasn’t typical behavior for her.