CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — According to NFTA officials, a 24-year-old woman from Sacramento, Calif. was arrested at Buffalo Niagara International Airport Tuesday night after what is being described as “unruly behavior.”

The pilot was reportedly preparing to take off, but because of the disorderly passenger, had to return to the gate when the incident occurred. 

“Cynthia McKnight faces a number of charges including disorderly conduct, harassment, trespass and criminal mischief,” NFTA Director of Public Affairs Helen Tederous told News 4. “According to detectives, McKnight actually opened the cabin door of the plane. The American Airlines flight was on route to Chicago.”

Courtesy: Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

American Airlines released the following statement:

“Shortly after pushback from the gate at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) on April 19, American Eagle Flight 3933, with service to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), returned to the gate due to a disruptive customer. Prior to reattaching the jet bridge, the disruptive customer opened the main boarding door, which deployed the emergency slide, and exited the aircraft onto the ramp. The individual was quickly apprehended by local law enforcement and has been placed on American’s internal refuse list pending further investigation. We thank our team members for their professionalism and action to ensure the safety of our customers and crew.”

American Airlines

Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Spencer Brown was on board the plane as the incident occurred and tweeted about it afterward.

“Sitting on a plane. A lady is pissed,” Brown said. “Lady pulls the emergency inflatable slide to escape the plane. Lady is running wild through the tarmac currently. Cops have arrived. Flight ruined. Memories made. Noice”

He capped off the post with a thumbs-up emoji and later posted a photo of the slide (above) on the tarmac from his spot on the plane.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.