A 61-year-old Nevada man was arrested and issued a citation after yelling and growling at the flight crew on an American Airlines flight out of Los Angeles International Airport.
Airline staff described the 61-year-old passenger as “being combative while on the flight,” which landed around 1 p.m. on Monday, according to a news release from the Salt Lake City Police Department. After the plane landed safely, SLCPD officers boarded the plane, escorted him off the aircraft and took the man into custody.
Paramedics took the man to a hospital. The man received a criminal citation for public intoxication and disorderly conduct, according to the release.
Dennis Busch, a Salt Lake City resident who was on the flight, recorded some of the man’s unruly behavior. He said the passenger started yelling around halfway through the flight, when the man asked a passenger who was standing to sit down and “then began to yell at her.”
After getting the attention of flight attendants who were trying to calm the man down, he said “they don’t belong here,” to the woman and her companion, who Busch said were both of Asian descent.
“He was just yelling that they don’t belong here, and asserting that that was not her seat, but it was — she was there the whole time,” Busch said. “After that, the flight attendants had that couple move back.”
Busch started filming after that. Video shows the man was growling and snarling at the flight crew.
“He was yelling, he was swearing, he was flipping them off, all sorts of stuff,” Busch said. “Then he was getting out of his seat, despite them, you know, repeatedly asking him to remain seated.”The flight crew continued to reassure other passengers and asked them not to engage with the man, which Busch said he thinks made the incident as “uneventful as possible.”
Busch said as the flight was preparing to land, the man got out of his seat again.
“Each time he stood up, people were on the edge of their seat,” Busch said.
The flight ultimately landed safely at its destination in Salt Lake City. Busch said he thought the flight crew handled the “awful situation” the best way they could and that he never felt in danger, just anxious for what the man may do next.
Last August, a man was fined $9,000 for refusing to wear a mask on a flight out of Salt Lake City, and another man was arrested in November after refusing to wear a face mask on a flight leaving the airport.