Plane diverted after unruly passenger allegedly refuses mask, snorts substance, abuses others

Published: May. 18, 2021 at 2:58 AM CDT
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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) - A flight heading to San Francisco was diverted and an unruly passenger arrested after he allegedly refused to wear a mask, snorted a white substance and was accused of touching at least one female passenger.

Passengers on a JetBlue plane cheered Sunday night as an employee announced the flight had been diverted to Minneapolis to deal with an unruly passenger. Upon landing, witnesses say the passenger was met by officers and the FBI then arrested.

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

Witnesses say the arrested passenger refused to wear a mask, had a bag full of a white substance he allegedly snorted, touched at least one woman, made inappropriate comments to numerous female passengers and yelled racist slurs upon boarding.

“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,” witness Bob McKenzie said.

In a video taken by another passenger, JetBlue employees explained they had to move one female passenger away from the man.

One witness who sat near the arrested man says he had a plastic knife and may have been on cocaine or meth.

“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,” witness Salma Srour said.

The diversion to Minneapolis meant the plane arrived in San Francisco a couple hours late, but passengers were appreciative that the man was removed from the plane and the crew got the situation under control.

Copyright 2021 KGO via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.