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Delta pilot suspected of trying to fly drunk from Minneapolis to San Diego

Posted: 6:14 PM, Jul 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-31 13:59:23-04
gabriel schroeder.jpg
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(KGTV) - A Delta Airlines pilot set to fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to San Diego was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of being intoxicated, a Minneapolis TV station reported .

Gabriel Schroeder, 37, was taken into custody about 11 a.m. local time at Terminal 1, according to Minneapolis Airport Police.

As the pilot approached a security checkpoint in Minneapolis, he saw TSA officers were performing additional screening and removed himself from the line, KSTP reported .

Officers notified Minneapolis Airport Police, who conducted two sobriety checks and determined the pilot was under the influence of alcohol, according to the media outlet.

An airport spokesperson told KSTP the pilot allegedly had a bottle of alcohol in his possession. Other workers said they noticed an odor of alcohol on the pilot.

Authorities say the pilot was able to make it onto the plane before being taken into custody.

Passenger John Wybest thought everything was normal as he boarded the plane.

“Once we got to the plane, they said, ‘Hold up,’” Wybest told 10News.

Wybest said officials would not allow passengers to enter the plane because the pilot was in the process of being arrested.

“They perp walked the guy out. Not through the ramp, but there was a side door that led to the tarmac,” Wybest said.

Wybest told 10News that the pilot “looked a little disheveled” and “he had the white shirt and collar, but it was in dire need of ironing. It was kind of a schleppy look.”

The plane’s departure was delayed for nearly an hour as the airline looked for another pilot.

It wasn’t until he landed in San Diego that Wybest realized the pilot might have put all passengers and crew members in danger.

“You’re kind of going, ‘Yikes,’” he said.

Minneapolis Airport Police are still waiting for results of toxicology tests before any charges can be filed.

Delta Airlines released this statement to 10News: "Delta's alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation. Delta is cooperating with local authorities in their investigation."