A packed jet en route to Philadelphia from Los Angeles was reportedly forced to divert to Phoenix after a passenger went on an unsettling rant about the 9/11 terror attacks.
Airplane crew members and passengers worked together to restrain the unruly passenger, who was later transported to a psychiatric facility for evaluation under an involuntary hold, the Mirror reported.
"We had a situation where right after takeoff a passenger stood and walked to the first class section, where he stood at attention there and refused to take his seat," Sergeant Vince Lewis of the Phoenix Police Department was quoted in the article. "He began making statements that, although they were alarming and threatening in nature, gave the flight crew the indication [of possible mental health issues]," he said.
Lewis said some of the passenger's comments referenced the attacks of September 11, 2001, and his beliefs about the government.
A Daily Mail report stated that passengers claimed the man said, “We will all see the truth, and I will be famous today."
“We’re sitting there on the plane and the guy comes up to the front to give a speech and starts talking about the government and his uncle was missing in action,” passenger Chip Yates, who helped to restrain the man using duct tape, was quoted by the Daily Mail.
Passenger Nicoletta Heidegger was also quoted in the Daily Mail after speaking to Fox10 news: “He started ranting about the military, the government. He was incomprehensible. It sounded like he was giving military commands, and he started talking about psychological warfare and bringing the plane down. It seemed like he was having a flashback of sorts, and kind of in this military persona.”
The flight, which departed Los Angeles International Airport at 8:38 a.m. Pacific Time, carried 150 passengers, three infants and six crew members, and was refueled and allowed to continue on to Philadelphia, a spokesman for American Airlines told the Daily Mail.