SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — An unruly passenger forced a plane that was headed to San Francisco from Australia to be rerouted to New Zealand.
That man is in custody Monday night in New Zealand, while other passengers made it to the Bay Area.
KRON4’s J.R. Stone talked with those passengers on the flight who say there were some tense moments and there is a video that shows it.
The 15-hour flight had to be diverted because of one man on board, who was creating quite the stir.
“I’m not yelling,” the man appeared to say in the video. “You want to hear me f*****” yell.”
That is just some of what was said on the flight from Sydney, Australia en-route to San Francisco.
Some of those comments led to the captain diverting the flight to New Zealand where the man was arrested.
Among other things, those on-board said the man was upset that he was sitting in a middle seat between two passengers who were talking to each other.
“Every 15 minutes, it was almost another incident for 6 hours,” Anjon’s husband Neil said. “Everyone was concerned on what’s next, what is it gonna be?”
The couple said the man was verbally harassing people on-board with homophobic, racist, and sexist remarks.
After landing in New Zealand, the man was arrested, described as a 42-year-old foreign national.
Police there turned him over to immigration.
Neil and Anjou say they’re just happy to be home.
Here is a statement from immigration in New Zealand:
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) can confirm that an American national was refused entry to New Zealand as he did not meet entry and border requirements. He is now in Police custody while arrangements are made for him to board a flight back to the United States. For privacy and legal reasons INZ can make no further comment.
– Senta Jehle, INZ National Manager, Border
Here is a statement from police:
Police responded to an incident at Auckland Airport yesterday after a United Airlines flight from Sydney to San Fran was diverted.
The flight was diverted due to badly behaved passenger, (a) 42 year-old foreign national.
He was arrested on arrival in Auckland and has been referred to immigration.