Aviation

Flight diverted after “anti-masker” accused of groping a woman and snorting a “white substance”

A JetBlue flight was forced to make an unscheduled landing after a passenger sexually harassed a woman and was seen snorting a “white substance”, according to flight attendants.

Flight 915 was travelling from New York’s JFK airport to San Francisco on Sunday when it was forced to land in Minneapolis after a passenger began “acting erratically and aggressively toward crewmembers and other customers”.

Twitter user Matt Kawashima, who was on board the flight, managed to capture footage of a flight attendant explaining why the plane had to make an unscheduled landing.

Uhhh my @JetBlue flight JFK-SFO just got diverted to MSP because an anti-masker was snorting coke in the bathroom and sexually harassing another passenger… props for to the crew for dealing with this maniac,” Kawashima said in a Tweet containing the video.

The flight attendant said the passenger refused to wear a mask, made many trips to the bathroom, was accused of touching at least one female passenger and was seen snorting a “white substance”.

Passengers around the person filming can be heard laughing and cheering when the white substance was mentioned.

“Now we’re talking!” one man can be heard saying.

According to the flight attendant in the video, the man also made “stabbing motions” towards another passenger.

Another flight attendant found a small bag of white powder on his tray table during one of his multiple bathroom trips.

“It was decided that all four flight attendants felt uncomfortable with what was going on,” he said.

“This was the closest place to go, so we as a team made the decision to come here.”

The announcement was met by applause and reports indicate that most witnesses were appreciative of the crew’s actions.

Witnesses told local media the man had a strong smell and was wearing no shoes.

“I think everyone was very uncomfortable and he posed a flight risk and, again, kudos to the captain for keeping everyone safe and taking appropriate action,” one witness told ABC 7.

Some witnesses said he was carrying a plastic knife while others said he had a white feather with him throughout the entire incident.

“He just wanted us to sing at some point, and he smelled very strongly, it was a very pungent smell, and he kept walking to the bathroom he wasn’t wearing a mask,” one witness said.

“He kept saying ‘bless you” to me and he was acting really erratically,” said a passenger sitting near the bathroom.

Others said he made inappropriate remarks to multiple women on board and yelled racial slurs while boarding.

The flight was met by law enforcement upon landing in Minneapolis, and the man was removed before the flight continued on to its final destination.

The man, identified as a 42-year-old from Mechanicville, New York, was arrested at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport on suspicion of drug possession, NBC News reported.

He may also face federal charges for possible crimes committed on an aeroplane, travelling over state lines, a spokeswoman for Hennepin County Attorney’s Office told NBC.

Flight records show the plane arrived in San Francisco two hours later than scheduled, touching down around 7:30pm local time.

“Safety is JetBlue’s first priority, and we appreciate our crewmembers’ response and our customers’ patience during this incident,” JetBlue said in a statement.


Featured image source: iStock/Devasahayam Chandra Dhas



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