An American Airlines passenger who was denied alcohol on a flight launched into a screaming tirade involving spit and blood, according to the FBI - and now faces the possibly of up to 20 years in prison.
Jason Felix was flying from St Croix to Miami on AA flight 1293 when the incident occurred, according to an FBI affidavit. The bureau and local police are investigating the matter, with Mr Felix having been for attempting to interfere with a flight crew. A fellow passenger caught part of the argument on camera.
Approximately one hour into the flight, Mr Felix rang the flight attendant to purchase beer. The flight attendant refused after he had been spotted by that flight attendant allegedly rummaging around the back of plane opening and closing cabinets in the rear bathroom earlier in the flight. He had slammed the door shut and locked it when a flight attendant approached to ask if he was all right. When he emerged from the bathroom, he appeared agitated and was cursing at the attendant all the way back to his seat, 17B.
A man who had the aisle seat - with Mr Felix in the middle - later told authorities he knew Mr Felix from his work as a police officer in the US Virgin Islands and his reputation was not a good one.
Once the flight attendant denied Mr Felix a beer, the FBI affidavit says he climbed over his seatmate and began chasing after the flight attendant, screaming obscenities.
“You need to please sit down. You’re not drinking any more beers. We’ll be there in an hour,” the attendent told Mr Felix.
“Are you my bartender?” Mr Felix is said to have asked the attendant, to which they replied “yes,” as he walked away.
The flight attendant then turned around to see Mr Felix and his seatmate appearing to hit each other in the narrow aisle. Other passengers attempted to pull the two men apart, video footage showed.
They were eventually able to get Mr Felix back into his seat, but not before - according to his seatmate - Mr Felix had spit blood and torn his shirt
The FBI affidavit said Mr Felix yelled: “I’m going to kill you. I know you are a cop”.
Fellow passengers continued to try and calm Mr Felix down, but the insults and foul language directed at the other man, who by this point had been asked to change seats, continued.
Flight attendants offered Mr Felix water, but he gave it to another passenger, according to the Bill Bolduc, who filmed the incident.
Four police officers boarded the plane in Miami and escorted the unruly passenger into the airport where he was arrested. The interfering with a flight crew charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in jail.
His detention hearing is on Tuesday in Florida. It is unclear if Mr Felix is a US citizen.