A passenger on American Airlines Flight 1293, from the Caribbean island of St. Croix to Miami, Florida, started a fight inside the cabin Wednesday when he was denied more beer by one of the attendants.
According to the criminal complaint filed against the passenger, identified as Jason Felix, the attendant said he could sense the accused was drunk even before he was first served alcohol aboard the flight, Miami Herald reported. He added he also heard Felix rummaging around inside the lavatory and that he needed help exiting the bathroom.
When the flight attendant assisted him out of the lavatory, Felix swore at him using an anti-gay slur, the complaint stated.
Following the law that says, “No certificate holder (operating the plane) may serve any alcoholic beverage to any person aboard any of its aircraft who appears to be intoxicated,” the flight attendant decided not to serve Felix alcohol beyond a certain point.
At that point, Felix allegedly started shouting and arguing with the flight attendant. The incident was recorded in a series of videos by another passenger on the flight, Bill Bolduc, who later uploaded them to YouTube.
“You need to please sit down, I’m not bringing you more beers,” the attendant was seen in one of the videos telling the disruptive passenger. “We will be there in an hour. Why do you have this attitude? You had a couple beers.”
“You’re my bartender?” the man asked the flight attendant, to which the latter replied, “Yes, I’m your bartender!”
In a second video, two other passengers were seen intervening when Felix got up from his seat and banged his head on the overhead storage space, repeatedly telling him to “chill” and “relax.” However, an aggravated Felix kept repeating, “No, I’m not going to relax!”
The complaint further added that when Felix told one of the other passengers, who were trying to calm him down, that he was going to kill him and spit blood on him, a brawl ensued. The fight was eventually broken up by the flight attendant.
Even when all the individuals involved were back in their seats, Felix continued to be disruptive. “Hitting the chair, swearing, yelling at other passengers, spitting at people at some point,” Bolduc told Fox-affiliate WSVN.
On the other hand, Bolduc praised the flight crew for how well they handled the situation.
“The flight attendants were very professional and handled a bad situation the best they could. It could have quickly escalated even further if the [flight attendants] didn’t maintain their composure,” Bolduc wrote in a comment on YouTube. “At one point, there was discussion of diverting the aircraft and landing before Miami but we made it there without additional people being hurt.”
American Airlines echoed Bolduc’s sentiments in a statement released regarding the incident: “We thank our crew for taking care of our customers and are proud of the work they do every single day.”
In another video, Felix was seen being escorted out of the plane by the Miami-Dade County police after the flight landed. He was handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation who arrested him. It was not clear if he was charged.