Man allegedly ‘gestured stabbing motions towards another passenger’
A flight from New York to San Francisco was forced to divert over the weekend after a disorderly passenger refused to wear a mask, began snorting a white substance, and harassed a number of passengers, reports said.
JetBlue told The Independent that flight 915 was “forced to divert to Minneapolis after a customer on board began acting erratically and aggressively toward crewmembers and other customers.”
Witnesses allege that the passenger had a bag full of a white substance, which he proceeded to snort on the plane, refused to wear a mask, and was “gesturing stabbing motions towards another passenger”.
The man allegedly touched at least one woman and made inappropriate comments to other female passengers as well as yelling racist slurs towards people while they boarded the plane, ABC7 said.
“When he got to his seat he started yelling that he wanted a white Porsche. I don’t know who he was talking to but that’s what he was saying,” one passenger, Bob McKanzie, told the broadcaster.
Another passenger, Salma Srour, said the man “just wanted us to sing at some point” adding that he “smelled very strongly” and “kept walking to the bathroom” without wearing a mask.
One person, Delaney Washington, who was sitting near the bathroom, backed up Ms Srour’s account, saying the passenger kept “walking back and forth to the bathroom” without any shoes.
She added: “He kept saying ‘bless you’ to me and he was acting really erratically.”
“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 who was sat close to the passenger told the outlet.
Passengers were said to have erupted in applause when the flight crew announced they would be landing the plane.
A JetBlue spokesperson said that the flight was met by law enforcement, that the customer was removed and the flight continued on to San Francisco.
The spokesperson added: “Safety is JetBlue’s first priority, and we appreciate our crewmembers’ response and our customers’ patience during this incident.”
The Independent has reached out to the Minneapolis Police Department for comment.