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Salt Lake airplane passenger carried knife on board, made threats, police say

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake airline passenger faces federal charges for allegedly carrying a knife onto an airplane and verbally threatening police and FBI agents.

Shortly after taking his seat on a Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas on Sunday, David Alan Anderson, 60, began elbowing the passenger next to him to "claim" the armrest, according to a federal complaint. He then put his foot on the passenger's leg.

"Sir, you are going to have to move over," the passenger told him.

About five minutes later, the passenger saw Anderson staring at him. He then said to the passenger, "If I have a knife, I would slit your throat," the complaint states.

The passenger told flight attendants, who noticed Anderson reach into his bag several times with something cupped in his hand. The flight crew then called Salt Lake police.

Anderson denied having a weapon or making threats. But during a consensual search of his bag, police found a Gerber folding knife with a 3 ½-inch blade. Police handcuffed Anderson and took him to the airport police station.

At the station, the complaint says, Anderson made numerous profane threats to police and FBI agents including, "Your days are not long," "It's a shotgun in the chest," "I'll pull your eyeballs out," and "It will give me a lot of pleasure to see you again, but you won't see me, bucko."

According the complaint, Anderson smelled slightly of alcohol, but did not appear to be drunk. Anderson faces charges of dangerous weapon on an aircraft and retaliation against a federal law enforcement officer by threat of murder.

Dennis Romboy, Twitter: dennisromboy