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Man arrested after refusing to wear mask on Delta Airlines flight

FILE PHOTO: KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - APRIL 03: Planes belonging to Delta Air Lines sit idle at Kansas City International Airport on April 03, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who boarded Delta Airlines flight 1382 at Salt Lake City International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 25 without a mask was later arrested, but only after all other passengers were removed from the airplane.

Documents from Salt Lake City Justice Court indicate that Joshua Colby Council, age 44, bypassed a Delta airlines gate agent, walked down the jetway, and boarded the aircraft all without wearing a mask.

Delta Airlines requires that all customers and employees wear face masks at check-in, in the Delta Sky Club, in the boarding area, on the jetway, and onboard Delta aircraft.

Court documents indicate that Council refused to obey the gate agent and boarded the aircraft. He took his seat, became argumentative, and refused the flight attendants’ and crew requests to wear a mask, according to court documents.

Salt Lake City police were called to help escort Council off of the airplane. He reportedly refused numerous police requests to leave.

At this point, court documents indicate that several dozen passengers had to be disembarked to assure that Council could safely be removed from the aircraft.

Council agreed to walk off of the plane after the plane was empty.  Back at the gate, Council refused to provide identification and was arrested. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for disorderly conduct and refusal to comply with a police order.

On November 26, Council was released to pre-trial services.

“We apologize to customers for the delay on Flight 1382 on Wednesday as a passenger was removed from the flight for mask non-compliance,” a Delta Airlines spokesperson said in a statement sent to KSL. 

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our people and customers.”

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States