A 33-year-old Pikangikum First Nation member is facing three charges after assaulting passengers aboard a flight into the community, which forced the aircraft to land in Red Lake on Monday.

The Red Lake OPP says on June 6 at roughly 5:45 p.m., OPP officers were notified of a flight that was being diverted due to an unruly passenger. The flight had taken off in Sioux Lookout and was headed to Pikangikum before it was diverted.

The OPP’s investigation revealed the suspect had physically assaulted passengers on board the flight, refused to follow directions from airline staff and endangered those on the plane. One of the pilots joined other passengers in restraining and subduing the accused until the aircraft could be landed safely.

The OPP notes the suspect was injured during the altercation. Members of the Northwest EMS attended the scene and determined his injuries were not life-threatening, so he was transported to the hospital for treatment after his arrest.

As a result, 33-year-old Torrey Turtle of Pikangikum First Nation was charged with:

- Assault,
- Assault Peace Officer,
- Resist Police

The OPP says their investigation will continue.