An American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing on Friday, September 20 after a passenger lit up a joint in the middle of a flight.
The incident reportedly happened during a flight from Phoenix to Minneapolis, with the pilot forced to make an emergency landing in Denver.
About an hour into the flight, the pilot reportedly told passengers about the plans for an emergency landing, citing ‘a security issue in the back’.
As reported by TMZ, passengers were a ‘little freaked out’ by the intercom announcement, and initially struggled to figure out what exactly was going on.
The talk on the plane was that someone in the back was telling others they had been using cocaine. At this point, according to TMZ sources, a man with dreadlocks rushed to the plane bathroom and locked the door.
Concerned flight attendants then gathered around the bathroom door; trying – and failing – to coax the man out from behind the locked door.
You can watch scenes from the incident for yourself in a clip obtained by TMZ:
The man reportedly remained within the bathroom for around 10 minutes; emerging and returning to his seat around five minutes prior to the emergency landing.
He was said to appear ‘jittery’, and – once the plane was on solid ground – police officers and EMTs came aboard to deal with the situation.
At this point, as reported by TMZ, the man took out a joint and a lighter and proceeded to smoke some weed. The pilot then spoke once again over the intercom, asking passengers in the first 13 rows to exit the plane so the man could be removed.
However, this led to further drama, with the man punching one of the passengers as they attempted to get off the plane.
Officers and EMTs were able to remove the man from the plane; handcuffing him and placing him on a gurney.
In the footage he can be heard demanding to be freed from the cuffs which were apparently hurting him, screaming, ‘Take it off, it hurts. I’ll f*cking kill you!’
An American Airlines representative told TMZ:
Flight 2408 diverted due to a disruptive passenger. Law enforcement met the flight, and the aircraft re-departed.
Two hours after the chaotic incident, the plane was back up in the air and on the way to Minneapolis.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.