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Unruly Passenger Growls at Flight Crew, Shouts 'Joe Biden'

He had a 'meltdown of racist, sexist, and belligerent comments'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2021 6:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – A passenger flying from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City was arrested after what a fellow passenger calls a "complete meltdown of racist, sexist, and belligerent comments." Video shared by Dennis Busch shows the American Airlines passenger swearing at flight crew members, growling, and shouting "Joe Biden? Really?" NBC reports. The man, identified as 61-year-old Las Vegas resident Timothy Armstrong, was taken into custody by Salt Lake City police officers after the plane landed Monday afternoon, reports Gephardt Daily. Police say Armstrong was issued a citation for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

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Busch says Armstrong's outbursts began during the final 30 minutes of the flight. "He began by yelling at the Asian woman in front of me to sit down when she was standing to deal with a back issue,” Busch wrote on Facebook. "He proceeded to tell multiple flight attendants that she and her companion 'didn’t belong here.'" Busch said the "complete meltdown" happened after flight attendants asked the man to calm down. Busch said the entire cabin became nervous every time Armstrong got up to shout at crew members. Busch praised the crew, "who kept their cool throughout the flight" and asked passengers not to engage with Armstrong.

An American Airlines spokesperson confirmed that local law enforcement had removed the "disruptive" passenger from the plane. "We thank our crew for their professionalism and our customers for their understanding," the spokesperson said. (United Airlines recently reminded employees that they should try to avoid duct-taping unruly passengers to their seats.)

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