January 05, 2013

Unruly passenger taped to seat on Iceland Air flight

A passenger who became unruly after allegedly drinking too much alcohol had to be taped to his seat on a trans-Atlantic flight, witnesses and authorities said.

A startling photo of the subdued man ended up on a blog run by New York businessman Andy Ellwood, who said he received the picture from an acquaintance who witnessed the incident.

“My friend was on the flight and he sent me the photo because we like to trade travel war stories,” Ellwood told .

His friend did not want to be identified or talk with the media, Ellwood said, but he recounted the story to him in detail.

The passenger “drank all of his duty free liquor on the flight from Iceland to JFK yesterday,” Ellwood wrote in his blog post.

“When he became unruly, (i.e. trying to choke the woman next to him and screaming the plane was going to crash), fellow passengers subdued him and tie(d) him up for the rest of the flight. He was escorted off the flight by police when it landed.”

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey confirmed the incident.

“A 46-year-old man was taken into custody last night at JFK off an Icelandic flight and then brought to the hospital because Port Authority police determined he was intoxicated,” said Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the port authority.

“He was not charged ... he’s free to go.”

The man had an Icelandic passport, Marsico said.

Prosecutors declined to charge him because passengers were reluctant to talk about his outburst to authorities, The New York Post reported.

Icelandair did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a spokesman for the airline confirmed the incident to Icelandic media, adding that plastic ties and tape are standard on board flights to help in such situations.

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