Man Detained After Forcing Himself Onto American Airlines Flight
A man who tried to force himself onto an American Airlines flight in Miami on Monday was detained by local police.
According to CNN, the unidentified man tried to forcibly board American Airlines Flight 1060, between Miami and Newark, by running past the gate agent and onto the plane. Apparently, the man had a ticket for the flight but his bizarre behavior prompted gate agents to call the police.
A passenger, Ari Teman, was already on the flight when he saw the incident and started recording video and taking photos. “This guy ran on the flight and he started shouting that it was his plane and that he was from the F.B.I.,” Teman told CBS4. “They called for security and he was dragged off the plane.”
According to 7 News Miami, the man was repeatedly asking other passengers for the time. “Come on, guys! What time is it? We’re going to Newark, New Jersey, 6:50,” the man says in a video that was posted to Instagram.
Teman described the man as possibly having an “episode” and saying he was acting “like a toddler having a fake tantrum.” Miami-Dade Police Department spokesman Chris Thomas told CNN that the man was “in crisis.” Another passenger, only identified as Aisha, told CBS Miami that agents were yelling, “Don’t let him on.”
Once the man was deplaned and arrested, Teman recalled: “The captain got on the loudspeaker and said he thought the guy was a decoy and so they are going to deplane and check everything,” according to CBS4. It’s unclear what was specifically meant by calling the man a “decoy.” The statement made by the pilot has not been confirmed by the airline, according to the station.
The rest of the passengers also had to deplane and go through a second security screening before being allowed back on. According to CNN, the flight departed three and a half hours late.
According to CBS News, the man was detained by police under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows officers to involuntarily hold an individual for up to 72 hours at a mental health facility, as long as they meet the criteria. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for evaluation.