AA 498 Mar 5 CUN-ORD Pax strikes FA, cuffs come out

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by neuatomic, Mar 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. neuatomic
    Original Member

    neuatomic Silver Member

    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    187
    Status Points:
    360
    Was on this evenings flight CUN-ORD, sitting in 5E on the 738.. About 2/3 through the uneventful flight an FA comes streaking up the aisle past us yelling "we need help in the back"! I leapt up and headed back where a crowd was gathered around row 22 or so. A middle-aged Mexican man who was struggling (slamming hands/arms up and down) and speaking somewhat forcefully was being restrained by pax in row behind, his wife was literally sprawled on top of him, and a big guy in the aisle. I was handed the plastic flexi cuffs and we tried to get him settled down and cuffed. Took awhile, but eventually after taking some sort of 'powerful antipsychotic' (per an on-board psychiatrist) Rx that his wife retrieved from the overhead he was cuffed and a few larger-type pax were seated behind and next to him. I returned to the front. The FA had a bit of a swollen lip. From what I could gather the pax had tried to light a cigarette and when the FA intervened he lost it, apparently suffering some kind of mental event. Pilot declared an emergency, and said sternly that if there were any more issues at all we would divert to Indy. We did not and were routed directly to ORD - fastest approach I've ever experienced - where we touched down about 40 minutes early and were greeted by numerous Chicago PD, a couple FBI-types and some Customs. They escorted the fellow off immediately, then began a rather lengthy interview of witnesses in the back. After about 20 minutes the let first class only leave as there were clearly no witnesses up there. I don't think there was much fear among the pax as he wasn't near an exit and was well restrained by his seatmates, but my first experience in this type of inexplicable event in the air.
     
    Travelman, UNHBuzzard and Chimpy like this.
  2. AmericanGirl
    Original Member

    AmericanGirl Silver Member

    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    1,862
    Status Points:
    910
    Oh my goodness. I can only imagine how stressful that was. I'm glad to hear you and your fellow passengers are okay. It was great the you were able to help.
     
  3. Gnopps
    Original Member

    Gnopps Silver Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    84
    Status Points:
    270
    Thanks for the report, let us know if you hear more about this story!
     
  4. ChicagoEric
    Original Member

    ChicagoEric Silver Member

    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    216
    Status Points:
    420
    Wow - I feel for the FA. Glad you and others could help.
     
    Travelman likes this.
  5. neuatomic
    Original Member

    neuatomic Silver Member

    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    187
    Status Points:
    360
    The FA was a bit shaken up but I don't think she was seriously hurt. It had been a pretty easy-going flight up to that point. Haven't seen anything in the news yet.
     
  6. techgirl
    Original Member

    techgirl Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    512
    Status Points:
    595
    Wow! I've heard one other story like that (friends of mine had to restrain a passenger in a premium cabin who took Ambien and had one of those bizarre sleepwalking events that involved trying to force his way to the cockpit.

    Definitely glad that everyone is okay!
     
  7. Miles
    Original Member

    Miles Silver Member

    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    980
    Status Points:
    695
    It's sad that this person, evidently with a known mental illness, probably will never be able to fly again. If he had taken his meds, and if they had worked, this would not have happened.

    Even moreso for the person mentioned by techgirl, who had no illness at all and merely took a legal sleeping pill. Any of us could experience a sleepwalking incident with Ambien.
     
    neuatomic likes this.
  8. neuatomic
    Original Member

    neuatomic Silver Member

    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    187
    Status Points:
    360
    I did actually kinda feel sorry for the guy. Now, I didn't witness any of how it all went down, and of course punching anyone is definitely way, way out of line, I got the impression (right or wrong) that he wasn't really a threat but more of someone suffering from an illness. Had it happened anywhere else, I imagine the response would have been less dramatic, but so are these days.
     

Share This Page