Man arrested for refusing to wear mask at Salt Lake City International Airport

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Passengers and employees walk down the new terminal at the Salt Lake City International Airport on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.

A 44-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after refusing to wear a face mask on a flight leaving Salt Lake City International Airport.

The man had boarded the late Delta plane at 10:40 p.m. He rushed past the gate agent, according to a probable cause statement for his arrest, and ran down the ramp to his seat.

The agent followed the man, asking him to put on a mask because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He refused.

The captain and flight attendants later asked, as well, but the man became “argumentative” and would not cover his face, the arresting documents say. The staff then called airport security to escort the man off the plane. He refused to move, as well.

All passengers — “several dozens,” according to the police statement — were instructed to leave the plane while officers talked to the man. He agreed to walk off once the aircraft was empty.

The man has not yet been charged, though he was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct. He was released from Salt Lake County jail early Thursday morning.

Crew told officers the situation caused a 45 minute delay for the flight headed to San Francisco.

All passengers are required to wear masks at Salt Lake City International Airport as cases of the coronavirus in Utah are averaging close to 3,000 a day.