The Unstable Skies: ‘Poison’ threat passenger is just the latest airline arrest

Posted at 11:00 PM, Jun 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-17 23:00:57-04

NEWARK, New Jersey (PIX11) – A man that caused a disturbance on a flight from Hong Kong to Newark has been taken to a hospital for an evaluation, according to the FBI.

United flight 116 landed at Newark Liberty International Airport just after 1:30 pm Monday, roughly six hours after the man had to be restrained on the flight.

“It was a passenger that started screaming about national security and CIA and he was very paranoid,” said passenger Jacques Roizen. “Because he started screaming people started looking at him and when he started reaching for his pockets, people got scared and few of us jumped on him, put him on the ground with the help of a few passengers and flight attendants; who were able to handcuff him and sat him on a different chair. ”

According to the FBI then man also claimed the crew had poisoned the passengers. The plane was searched and cleared. Authorities said nothing dangerous was found on board.

Passengers described the man as delusional and they said he asked to land in Canada.

“He said something about people, and he was going to die.  He was going to become a non-person; going to disappear,” said passenger Peter Jones.

Authorities interviewed the passengers and they were free to go by about 3:15pm.

If the man is arrested, the FBI says charges will be up to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This is just the latest in-flight incident to terrify passengers. An Egypt Air flight from Cairo to New York was diverted to Scotland Saturday. A note, found in a plane bathroom, said “This plane will be on fire.”

And in late May, an Alaska Airlines passenger tried to open an aircraft door mid-flight. He was restrained with shoelaces and the FBI arrested him in Portland.

Security expert Gary Weksler told PIX11 News Monday night that incidents like these have “… always been out there. And obviously there’s a lot of people that are concerned about this, especially in the airline industry. And, ya know, as these things get publicized those that have problems, seek the attention.”