Veterans on Flight Tackle Man Who Smuggled Boxcutter On Board
Veterans aboard a Frontier Airlines flight from Cincinnati to Tampa ended up having to put their instincts and training to the test, on the day meant to honor them, no less. TSA officials say there was a disturbance involving an erratic passenger with a weapon that had to reroute the plane to Atlanta on Friday night.
"The lady came up and told us that the person sitting to the right of her seat had a weapon and showed it to them and said he was going to cut multiple people on the flight," passenger Larry Cumberbatch told Fox 5 Atlanta.
Cumberbatch is a US Navy veteran. He told Fox 5 crew members approached him and another former military member to help subdue the suspect if the situation were to escalate. The plan they came up with, was for Cumberbatch to switch seats with the woman who notified the flight crew about threats made by the suspect.
The suspect didn't take well to the change of the seating chart.
"He has a weapon and I don’t know what kind of weapon it is ... I said, ‘hey I’m gonna be sitting here from now on’ and he said ‘no the young lady is gonna be sitting there’…he got like frantic, and he said ‘oh no!’…and then he got up and went to the back of the plane," Cumberbatch explained.
Cumberbatch told Fox 5 that the plane landed early in Atlanta, and passengers began to deboard. The suspect refused to leave the plane and then walked toward flight attendants with his hands in his pocket.
He got a little too close for comfort, and that was when another man with a background in law enforcement tackled him.
"He was concerned his movements were gonna go toward them and harm them…he just grabbed him, bear-hugged him, and they fell," Cumberbatch said.
Atlanta Police arrested the suspect, and Cumberbatch and the other military members who assisted in the apprehension of the man were praised by their fellow passengers.
"Serving in the military, that’s what you do," he said.
A statement from the TSA commented on the ordeal.
"TSA takes its role in transportation security very seriously. The situation with the Frontier flight is under investigation with the US Attorney’s Office, as they are the lead federal agency in this matter. TSA has started an internal review of the incident by viewing CCTV, airport security checkpoint processes/operations and will continue to provide updates as they are available. TSA can confirm that blades are prohibited in the cabin, but allowed in checked luggage."
Read more at Fox 5