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Unruly Drunk Passenger Forces Plane to Make Emergency Stop

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 1/20/2020 Rich Thomaselli
a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: American Airlines Boeing 737-800 taking off from Chicago O'Hare International Airport © gk-6mt/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus American Airlines Boeing 737-800 taking off from Chicago O'Hare International Airport

In the end, if you had to determine whether an unruly passenger was inebriated or not, the empty bottle of Jack Daniels by his seat and the pants that he removed were enough red flags.

Big red flags.

An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Chicago had to make an emergency landing on Jan. 15 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where police arrested the disruptive passenger and forcibly removed him from the flight.

The unidentified man allegedly kicked the seats, hit a flight attendant and stripped off his pants.

“On January 15, American Airlines flight 967 from Los Angeles to Chicago diverted to Albuquerque due to a disruptive passenger,” an American Airlines spokesperson told The Independent newspaper. ”The flight landed safely at 2:56 pm MT and taxied to the gate. Law enforcement met the aircraft, and the flight re-departed at 3:58 pm MT.”

But that was too late for some, including ESPN reporter Crystina Poncher, who gave a blow-by-blow description of the incident on Twitter, although she later deleted the tweets.

“We just had to land the plane in New Mexico to remove an unruly passenger,” Poncher tweeted. “He was wasted, kicking the seats, hit a flight attendant. Took his pants off.”

She later tweeted, “They just found an empty handle of Jack Daniels by his seat. I hope the guy that caused all this drama spends at least tonight in jail.”

Poncher was one of several passengers who missed their connections in Chicago and were forced to stay overnight in the Windy City.

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