Suspects Began Screaming, Rolling In Aisle
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
Hayden says he suspects the event was staged. For what reason,
however, isn't clear.