UK’s William Stephen Hayes arrested in Salt Lake City, Utah after attacking Virgin Atlantic passenger


William Stephen Hayes, 39, of the United Kingdom and his wife welcomed their first son in October 2020. Currently, the wife is heavily pregnant.

Traveling on an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa, Hayes was on a Virgin Atlantic flight traveling from London Heathrow Airport in London, England, U.K. to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, United States on July 26, 2022 with his pregnant wife and their son. Carrying around 264 passengers, the plane was due to land in Los Angeles at 3:30 p.m.


At one point during the flight, Hayes assaulted a male passenger in front of him. The British man grabbed the other passenger’s shirt, tried to hit him and grabbed his throat, leaving visible marks on the victim’s neck.

Hayes also spat on the victim and tried to bite him. With the help of another passenger and crew members, the victim was able to restrain Hayes, who was later handcuffed.


While restrained, Hayes continued to fight and even tried to kick the plane’s windows. For the safety of the plane, the captain diverted the flight from its intended non-stop route to Los Angeles International Airport.

At 4:30 p.m., the plane landed at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA on an emergency basis. After being escorted off the plane, Hayes continued to be aggressive.

Hayes was arrested and booked into Salt Lake City Metro Jail. At 8:00 p.m., the plane landed at Los Angeles International Airport at 8:00 p.m.

On July 27, 2022, Hayes appeared in a courtroom in Utah where he was charged with one count of interference with a flight crew and one count of assault. He was told he was being placed on an immigration detainer.

On August 3, 2022, Hayes will face a deportation hearing. His wife is in Los Angeles with their son to retrieve luggage and arrange travel back to the U.K. 

2 replies »

  1. Figures. If this guy were white, they’d have slapped his picture on every paper in the country. I guess it’s that black, brown, and yellow privilege no one talks about.


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