JetBlue flight diverted when unruly passenger allegedly punches female companion

A JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale to Boston had to be diverted to Orlando after a deranged passenger calling himself “the devil” allegedly punched a woman who was traveling with him, according to witnesses.

The violent incident occurred Thursday night aboard JetBlue Flight 170, which was disrupted and delayed by more than five hours.

The airline confirmed to The Post Friday that the flight was “diverted to Orlando due to a disturbance between two customers on board.”

A male passenger, who has not been publicly identified, made threats, told those around him that he was the devil and physically assaulted his female travel companion, WCVB-TV reported, citing eyewitness accounts.

A man who sat near the crazed customer in the back of the plane told the station that flight attendants placed the woman in the bathroom for safety — and the man was punching the door to try to get her out.

A screenshot from a cellphone video taken on JetBlue Flight 170 shows an unruly passenger being escorted off the plane after a violent outburst. @LeoRuiz037
The flight from Fort Lauderdale to Boston had to be diverted to Orlando Thursday night over the disruption. @LeoRuiz037

Traveler Max Seelig, who sat in the front of the aircraft, said one of the crew members told him and his neighbors that the plane was going to make a “pit stop” in Orlando, but that it was not going to be announced “in case it angered the man,” he said.

Passenger Leo Ruiz recorded a cellphone video showing the out-of-control flyer, wearing a hoodie and baseball hat, being escorted off the plane by officers after it landed in Orlando.

It was not until after the man had been safely removed that the pilot explained to the rest of the passengers what was happening, as seen in Ruiz’s recording.

The male passenger allegedly punched a woman, pictured in this screenshot, who was traveling with him. @LeoRuiz037

“We had a disruptive, violent passenger in the back,” the pilot said. “Unfortunately, I could not make an announcement, tip him off. We didn’t want to agitate him more than he already was, he was attacking another passenger.”

A JetBlue spokesperson told The Post that two customers “were deplaned with the assistance of law enforcement, and the flight continued to Boston with a delay.”

Passengers had to wait for hours in Orlando for the plane to be refueled and for a new crew to arrive. REUTERS

Passengers said they all had to disembark in Orlando, wait for the plane to be refueled and for a new crew to arrive, before boarding the aircraft again, with the flight landing in Boston at 4:31 a.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, police in Orlando said the unruly passenger has not been arrested.

“The individual was intoxicated and transported to local hospital by [Orlando Fire Department] for treatment,” a department spokesperson told The Post Friday.


Written by SaleemBaloch

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