This is a Beechcraft King Air C90 similar to the plane a Mississippi man is accused of stealing an airplane Saturday morning and threatening to crash the small craft into a Walmart store. Photo by Acroterion/Wikimedia Commons
Sept. 3 (UPI) — A Mississippi man is facing felony charges after police accused him of stealing an airplane Saturday morning and threatening to crash the small craft into a Walmart store.
The standoff in the skies over Tupelo ended after about five hours.
Cory Patterson, of Shannon, Miss., has been charged with grand theft and making terroristic threats. He could face additional federal penalties in connection with the Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-engine plane stolen from the Tupelo airport early Saturday.
Flight officials had not yet arrived in the control tower when the small aircraft took off about 5 a.m. EDT.
In the air, Patterson called 911 and told the operator he was going to crash the plane into the Walmart on West Main Street, authorities allege.
Police arrived at the store and began to evacuate shoppers and block off nearby streets.
After some time, negotiators convinced Patterson to return to the airport.
A pilot was called in to provide landing instructions to Patterson over the radio.
But instead of sitting the plane down, Patterson ascended again and turned northwest.
While in flight, Patterson also went on Facebook to post apologies to his loved ones, Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka said at a news briefing, according to WAPT, the ABC affiliate in Jackson.
Shortly after 10 a.m., Patterson finally landed the aircraft in a soybean field, where he was taken into custody.
A background check revealed Patterson had received some flight training while working as a lineman for Tupelo aviation for a decade.
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