Video of an incident that forced Air Canada flight 1805 to make an emergency landing at Orlando International Airport Monday was released Wednesday. The video captures the moment that officials forcibly removed an aggressive passenger from the plane after he threatened flight crew and passengers with coffee pots and attempted to open the cabin door midway through the flight.
The Canadian man, later identified as Brandon Courneyea, was arrested upon arrival at the Florida airport following the nearly 45-minute ordeal aboard the Monday evening flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica to Toronto, Ontario. According to a federal criminal complaint, Air Canada crew contacted the FBI around 7:30 p.m. after Courneyea became agitated and began yelling at other passengers for looking at him.
— Amanda Ober (@AmandaOberWESH) May 17, 2017
ABC affiliate WFTV reported the incident escalated after Courneyea moved to the back of the aircraft, grabbed a pot of coffee and began swinging it around and threatening flight crew.
“Courneyea then stated that it would only take one guy to take the plane down and that he wanted to take everyone with him,” the criminal complaint said, according to WFTV.
Grabbing a second pot of coffee, Courneyea continued acting erratic before at a flight attendant attempted to confront him out of concern for the safety of passengers aboard the flight. According to the federal complaint, Courneyea then “lunged for the rear cabin exit door and began to pull the door lever up to open the door.”
Ultimately, Courneyea was able to be restrained by flight crew and other passengers. They used zip ties to secure Courneyea to his seat.
“I did the feet and some other folks did the arm,” Michael Thompson, a Toronto city councilman who helped restrain Courneyea, told WFTV. “We didn't attempt to injure him or anything like that. We just wanted to get control of the ”
WFTV reported Wednesday that Courneyea's wife did not know that her husband was in jail when contacted by the news station. After reading the criminal complaint, the woman told WFTV that his behavior was very out of character.
“That is not my husband at all,” she said. “There's a lot more to what brought that on, because my husband is the most loving man you'll ever meet.”
In a Wednesday statement to International Business Times, Air Canada said:
“Air Canada Rouge flight 1805, en route from Montego Bay to Toronto Monday night, diverted to Orlando due to an unruly passenger. Our crew are trained to respond to such situations and followed standard procedures to ensure the continued safe operation of the flight. Our Captain diverted the flight to Orlando where it landed safely. As this is now a police matter we have no further details to provide.”
The carrier told IBT that while the passenger attempted to open the cabin door, “this is impossible to do during flight.”
Courneyea was arrested by federal agents and charged with assault or intimidation of a flight crewmember or flight attendant as well as interfering with the performance of duties, reported WFTV.