Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LaTroy Hawkins helps restrain irate passenger aboard flight to Chile

LaTroy Hawkins hasn't worn a New York Mets uniform in weeks, but that didn't stop the closer from making a save. And at 40,000 feet in the air.

Hawkins was  on American Airlines Flight 945, where he and two friends restrained an irate passenger who wrestled with a flight attendant because he was upset with his seat assignment.

"I saw that this guy kept coming up to the front, but I didn't think anything of it," Hawkins said from Argentina, where he is on a dove-hunting trip.

According to Hawkins, he and his traveling party were 2 1/2 hours into a flight from Dallas to Santiago, Chile, early Monday morning when the passenger began a physical altercation with a flight attendant.

"They get to tussling and land in my lap," Hawkins said. "Knocked over my ice cream sundae, knocked over the wine, everything all over me. I jump up, we grab his arm, I had one arm in the air and my knee in his back trying to keep him down because he keeps trying to move."

Hawkins used zip ties to restrain the passenger's hands and feet. But sometime later, with most of the cabin asleep, Hawkins said the man got free from the restraints and caused another disturbance.

This time Hawkins' friends intervened first. Rodney Carter and Leonard Whittenberg subdued the passenger. Hawkins helped to again apply zip ties and tape. The second incident prompted a 4:16 a.m. emergency landing in Lima, Peru, where the troublesome passenger was taken into custody.

Hawkins tweeted about the incident:

According to American Airlines, Flight 945 was grounded for two hours before it proceeded to Santiago. Hawkins and his party missed a connecting flight to Argentina, which cost them a day of their planned hunting trip.

Nobody was injured in the incident.

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