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NY flight to Florida diverted over ‘disruptive passenger’

February 10, 2022 GMT

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A disruptive passenger prompted a flight from New York to Florida to divert to a North Carolina airport Wednesday night, officials said.

Frontier Airlines flight 1335 left LaGuardia Airport and was headed to Orlando International Airport when it was diverted to Raleigh-Durham International Airport around 8:15 p.m. because of a “disruptive passenger,” according to a statement from the airport. Airport law enforcement, fire-rescue and Wake County EMS responded, the airport statement said, but there were no details about how the situation was resolved.

EMS personnel were dispatched to the airport, where they evaluated a “cooperative, stable” 37-year-old man, who refused transport, Wake County EMS spokesperson Brian Brooks said in an email.

The flight departed for Orlando around 9:40 p.m., airport officials said, referring questions to the FBI and the airline.

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The investigation is ongoing and no federal charges have been filed, FBI spokesperson Shelley Lynch said in an email. The airline didn’t immediately respond to a request for information.

Savannah Figueroa, who was on the flight, told WRAL-TV that the man claimed people were touching him and trying to stick him with needles to collect his DNA and threatened everyone on the plane. When flight attendants asked the man to lower his voice, Figueroa said he got angrier.

The man was cursing, screaming and threatening everyone on the plane, she said. Eventually, several men stood up and took off their belts to restrain the man. Figueroa said the flight was in the air for an hour after the man began yelling, Figueroa said.

Video taken on the flight showed flight attendants blocking the cockpit doors and passengers helping restrain a man on the flight.