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Ex-Police Officer Helps Subdue Two Men Onboard NWA Flight

Suspects Began Screaming, Rolling In Aisle

What, exactly, happened onboard a recent Northwest Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Boston? That's the question federal investigators are now contemplating, while a former police officer is being called a hero for his role in subduing two passengers.

Boston's WBZ-TV reports Bob Hayden, a retired 28-year veteran police officer and former Lawrence, MA police chief, was a passenger on Northwest Flight 720 this weekend. Hayden says that even before the plane took off, one man started to act strangely -- pacing up and down the aisle, apparently aggravated. A flight attendant forced the man into his seat after he refused to heed the crew's requests to sit down.

After the plane took off, Hayden says the same man began screaming, before falling into the aisle. At first, Hayden says he thought the man was having a heart attack -- but when another man also started acting strangely, pulling luggage out of the overhead bin, it became clear to him something else was going on.

"He jumped out of his chair, laid on the floor, and started thrashing his legs and screaming," Hayden said. "People were nervous. The lady in front of me actually started to cry."

Flight attendants once again helped the screaming man back into his seat... but the passenger continued to yell throughout the rest of the flight. And when the plane's pilot announced the initial descent into Boston, things took yet another suspicious turn.

"They jumped out of their seats again, like something out of "The Manchurian Candidate, and did they're rolling on the floor, and yelling," Hayden said.

With the help of an ex-Marine onboard the flight, Hayden worked to subdue the men.

"We forced one into his seat, and the one on the ground, I flipped him over and landed him on his stomach," Hayden said. The two then buckled both men into their seats, and stood guard over them until the plane arrived at the gate.

Officials then took the men away for questioning, and for psychiatric evaluations. They are not facing charges at this time.

Hayden says he suspects the event was staged. For what reason, however, isn't clear.

FMI: www.nwa.com

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