A minor league baseball player allegedly grabbed and spit on several passengers aboard an international Delta flight, forcing crew members to physically restrain him in the back of the plane and leaving flight attendants “feeling unsettled and unsafe.”
Darnel Silver Collins, 19, an outfielder in the Kansas City Royals organization, was arrested in Salt Lake City after causing pandemonium in the sky onboard Delta Airlines flight 57 from the Netherlands on Jan 21.
“Throughout the flight Collins was loud, disruptive, threatening and abusive to other passengers and to crew members,” according to a criminal complaint obtained by Fox TV stations.
The Airbus A330-900 took off from Amsterdam Schipol Aiport at 9:14 AM local time and landed at Salt Lake City International Airport at 11:33 a.m. in Utah, according to FlightAware.
Collins, who played for the Netherlands national teams and is originally from Spijkenisse, Netherlands, resides in Surprise, Arizona on a P1 Visa and travels between the Netherlands and the US during the baseball offseason, according to the Justice Department.
An hour into the nearly 10-and-a-half-hour flight, one passenger observed Collins, several rows in front of him, being disruptive to other passengers — tapping them — as his behavior escalated throughout the flight, according to Task Force Officer Kyle Ruiz who submitted the complaint to US District Court in Utah
At one point, a female passenger became aggravated with Collins continuously touching her that she asked a crew member for assistance before she “physically pushed” him away, the complaint alleged.
The ballplayer’s antics didn’t stop as he approached a second female passenger and allegedly grabbed her arm, not letting go until another passenger and flight crew intervened.
Eight passengers were moved away from Collins to “avoid further problems.”
Collins, however, kneeled on his seat and spoke to other passengers, and the interaction became aggressive enough for one flight attendant to intervene before it got “physical.”
Crew members then moved Collins from his assigned seat to a seat in the back of the plane, forcing another 8-10 passengers to make room for him before Collins allegedly spit at a passenger, striking at least two people with his saliva.
The unruly passenger had also made his way to the aft galley where he aggressively confronted another flight attendant.
“Hey Bitch! Are you speaking up now?” Collins asked before being told to sit down, according to the complaint.
“She felt unsafe but was grateful there was a cart between them because if not, she felt he could have reached out to her,” the complaint stated.
After being placed back in his seat, Collins continued touching passengers who walked by him and even those seated two rows in front.
Three seat belt extenders were used to restrain Collins’ mid-section to keep him seated for the remaining two hours of the flight.
Flight crew members were forced to check on Collins more than other passengers and also had to make sure someone was with him for approximately 9 hours of the 10-hour flight.
The criminal complaint charges Collins with two US code violations: Interference with a Flight Crew, and Assault by striking, beating, and wounding in the Special Aircraft Jurisdiction of The United States.
Collins is being held at the Salt Lake County Main Jail on a Federal Detainees-Interstate Agreement, according to jail records viewed by The Post.
If found guilty, Collins could face up to six months in jail and be fined for the assault under Federal maritime law, but under US aircraft jurisdiction rules could be imprisoned up to 20 years for interfering with the flight crew.
His initial court appearance on the indictment is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2024, at 10:30 a.m.
A Royals spokesperson told the Daily Mail that they hope Collins “gets the care he needs.”
Collins signed a minor league contract with the Royals in Jan. 2021 and has since appeared in 91 games in three seasons with several Rookie league teams.
Collins’ older brother Darryl is also an outfield in the Royals organization, most recently playing for the High-A Affiliate Quad Cities River Bandits.