An intoxicated American Airlines passenger who was denied more beer by the flight staff caused a massive disturbance on a flight from St. Croix to Miami, which led to FBI involvement.
Flight 1293 had been in the air for about an hour when Jason Felix summoned the flight attendant to order an additional beer. The flight attendant — not allowed to serve intoxicated passengers — refused, the Washington Post reports.
Video footage from a fellow passenger, Bill Bolduc, indicates that Felix took issue with a flight attendant denying his request to purchase more alcohol.
“You need to please sit down, I’m not bringing you more beers,” the attendant tells the man in a video of the exchange. “We will be there in an hour. Why do you have this attitude? You had a couple beers.”
U.S. federal law prohibits airlines from serving intoxicated passengers. However, Felix continued arguing and began waving his arms in the flight attendant’s face.
“Are you my bartender?” Felix asked.
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“Yes, I’m your bartender,” the attendant replied, and turned to walk away.
The flight attendant only managed a few steps, however, before turning back around to see Felix aggravating his seatmate, the FBI report states.
The man later told the FBI that Felix spit blood at him, and tore off his shirt. In Bolduc’s video, the two men are fighting while other passengers try to pull them apart.
“I’m gonna kill you. I know you are a cop,” Felix screamed at his neighbour in the aisle seat. Felix was so angry that the flight attendant asked his seatmate, who was a police officer, to move to another seat so the two men couldn’t see each other.
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A criminal complaint of the incident claims that prior to denying Felix more alcohol, the flight attendant already suspected the customer was drunk. He later told the FBI he had heard Felix making noise in the compartments in the plane’s lavatory, the Miami Herald states.
When a flight attendant helped Felix from the bathroom, he called the attendant a derogatory word used to refer to gay men.
At least four police officers boarded the plane upon landing in Miami. Felix pulled out his earbuds and appeared to argue with them briefly, but eventually allowed them to escort him off the plane.
Bolduc posted the footage on YouTube and commented underneath the clip on the professionalism of all the staff on the aircraft during a difficult situation.
He was then arrested and was ordered to be held in detention until Tuesday, facing charges of interfering with flight crew which carries up to a 20-year sentence.