A Kentucky airline pilot is being hailed as a hero after he was able to successfully subdue a drunk and disorderly passenger who physically assaulted and threatened a flight attendant. [Scroll Down For Video]
The suspect, identified as Michael Kerr, became intoxicated after having several whiskey drinks on the flight into Charlotte, North Carolina.
The pilot told Kerr to sit down as the plane was about to begin deplaning procedures saying, ‘I don’t care what you want to do, you’re going to take a seat right now.’
According to a local news report by the Lexington Herald Leader:
Lexington native Brian Colón, 23, shot the video on the July 21 flight that ended in the arrest of Michael Kerr, who worked as a cook at Portofino until he was fired last week.
In the video, Kerr threatened to break the pilot’s jaw and pushed the flight attendant to the floor, prompting the pilot to take Kerr to the floor, saying: “You don’t put your hands on my flight attendant!”
Colón, who also is a flight attendant for Norwegian Airlines, said that he has never seen anything like this incident.
“I was scared. I was very scared. I felt like the flight attendant’s life was in danger, and I felt like someone else needed to step in, the way he treated her,” Colón said.
“We landed and were taxiing, and waiting for the jet bridge to arrive at the exit door and the man started screaming, ‘let’s go, go’,” Colón said. A flight attendant asked Kerr to sit down, but he refused and followed her into the forward galley.
Kerr is now banned from flying on any commercial flights by court order and is facing additional federal charges for the incident. The flight attendant suffered minor injuries that required short term physical therapy.
The associate of Flight Attendants issued the following statement on the matter:
“Flight attendants are the most likely crew members to be the target of passenger abuse, as they are the primary person to interactive with passengers and serve as the authority figure on the flight without the ability to call for law enforcement. The flight attendant was attempting to de-escalate the situation and was assaulted by the passenger.
It is never acceptable for a passenger to assault a flight attendant, another member of the crew or other passengers. There is zero tolerance in a secure aviation system. We stand behind our member and will support her through this process.
We have seen an increase in these incidents throughout the industry. The biggest frustration is delays and cancellations, and that has the added problem of people sitting at airports and going to a bar and drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a leading cause of air-rage incidents, as it seems to be in this case.”
Here is the video of the incident recorded by Colón: