Pilot who threatened to crash plane into Walmart faces charges
The rogue pilot is now in custody after stealing a small plane in Mississippi and threatening to crash it into a Tupelo Walmart.
Cory Wayne Patterson was arrested after a plane came down near Ripley, Mississippi, nearly five hours after an emergency call was made to police, with a pilot threatening to crash into a Walmart store in Tupelo.
The rogue pilot, who did not have a pilot's license, now faces charges of grand larceny, including terror-related charges.
Police were notified that an airplane was flying over Tupelo at around 5 a.m. local time. The plane's pilot made contact with E911 and was threatening to crash intentionally, according to the police.
BREAKING: A pilot is threatening to intentionally crash a plane into the Tupelo Walmart. We will provide more updates as they become available.— Starkville Daily News (@StarkvilleDaily) September 3, 2022
Patterson had stolen a King Air twin-engine jet from Tupelo’s airport and flew it over the town for a few hours, putting residents on edge. He eventually landed in a field and was arrested.
"He is being charged with grand larceny and making terroristic threats. We do anticipate that the federal government will proceed with federal charges in the very near future," Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka told a press conference.
Patterson was an employee of Tupelo Aviation for ten years and was responsible for fueling jets. Although he appeared to have some flight instructions, he did not carry a license.
He stole the jet on Saturday morning after fully fueling it the night before. He then made contact with 911 and threatened to ram the plane into a Walmart, prompting evacuation from the store and surrounding area.
After being convinced to land the jet, he received assistance from a private pilot because Patterson had no landing experience.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves praised local, state, and federal law enforcement for managing the stolen plane situation with "extreme professionalism." He said no one was injured.
Thank you to all to local, state, and federal law enforcement who took part in resolving this situation peacefully. #MHP #CourtesyServiceSafety pic.twitter.com/sEN45bCn20— MHP New Albany (@MHPTroopF) September 3, 2022
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