In a bizarre tale set thousands of feet above the earth’s surface, the passengers of a US Airways flight heading to Honolulu were witness to one passenger’s sky insanity. The man in question, unnamed to this point, had reportedly progressed from a mild case of an airplane-set panic attack to full-blown lunacy in minutes. The result? The man began frantically flailing about the cabin, screaming, removing clothing and charged for the cockpit. Before he could get there, however, he was tackled by two travelling Jersey City cops.
As reported by NJ.com, the incident is still under investigation. The reasoning behind the maddened passenger, who allegedly intended on getting off the plane at the elevated height of 40,000 feet, is uncertain. According to Jersey City officers Paul Fennel and Robert Taino Jr, who were on their way to Hawaii for a co-worker’s wedding, the man was causing a commotion in the cabin before eventually making a dash for the cockpit. They were two hours out of Honolulu when the incident began. Taino explained how he had noticed that no one was being served and then the flight attendants went flooding to the back of the plane with an oxygen tank. He made it aware to the sky staff that he and Fennel were police officers. After that, everything turned and a man in a sweater came barreling up the aisle claiming he was going to get off the plane. The airline attendants blockaded the emergency exits with their bodies as the man pulled off his shirt and began to yell, “He’s got a gun! Who’s going to shoot me?” The man sprang into a speeded step for the cockpit and an attendant shouted, “Stop him!” Officers Taino and Fennel, along with two other passengers piled on the panicked man.
From there, Taino cuffed the man using plastic wrist restraints provided by a flight attendant. The two Jersey cops guarded the man for the remainder of the flight and then handed him over to the FBI who were waiting at the gate. According to the article, Fennel is a recipient of his departments Excellent Police Service award and Taino of the Combat Cross award. Even off duty and on vacation, they acted with decisiveness and bravery.
Neither US Airways nor the FBI have commented on the situation in the sky as of yet. For now, it will stand as a strange story with a safe ending. All of this, of course, is thanks to Officers Fennel and Taino along with the unnamed passengers who also aided in the accosting of the unruly man. Taino and Fennel are currently in Honolulu enjoying the wedding of their peer, a Jersey City Police Sargent. It’s safe to say they will have quite the wedding tale to tell.
Tyler Baker; OSM Writer
(Source : NJ.com )