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Worst Passenger of the Week

Dumped Student Becomes Drunk, Violent on Flight

Dumped Student Becomes Drunk, Violent on Flight
Jackie Reddy

A recently dumped college student became intoxicated and violent on a British Airways flight from London to Texas last month, reports Jeffrey ‘Tanner’ Libby was verbally and then physically abusive to staff and passengers, resulting in the diversion of the Texas-bound flight and jail time for Libby.

A broken heart was behind the violent, drunken outburst of a British Airways passenger on a Texas-bound flight from London last month, reports The incident, which involved college student Jeffrey ‘Tanner’ Libby, resulted in the flight being diverted and, for Libby himself, a jail sentence.

According to the outlet, Libby began drinking from a bottle of liquor after his flight hit a sudden patch of turbulence just after departing from London on December 17, 2018. According to court testimony, Libby soon began to become verbally disruptive, raising the volume of his voice and swearing.

His behavior soon turned violent and Libby started to kick and punch the seatback of the passenger in front of him. He was asked by members of the plane’s crew to calm down, but, as prosecutor Olu Phillips described to Isleworth Crown Court, Libby then began to become physically aggressive.

“He reached across the aisle to a female passenger, grabbing her by the arm and squeezing it,” he said. More members of crew attempted to restrain Libby, with a passenger named as Stephen Mumford also offering assistance. He was also bitten by Libby.

The outlet reports that Libby next became physically aggressive with Samantha Jackson, a member of the flight’s cabin crew. At this point, the pilot made the decision to divert the flight and return to London.

It was revealed in court that, just prior to his outburst, Libby had been dumped by his girlfriend.

Offering his comments on the student’s behavior – with Libby present in the courtroom via videolink – Judge Robin Johnson said, “Whether you were drunk when you boarded the plane or you became drunk doesn’t matter … On top of that, those who behave in a drunk fashion, not only are they dangerous, they frighten a lot of people.”

“Against your personal mitigation it is my duty to state unequivocally that this behavior can not be tolerated. You assaulted a woman for no reason at all,” he added.

The student has pleaded guilty to a count of intoxication on an aircraft plus three counts of assault.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (9)


  1. TMOliver

    January 18, 2019 at 7:33 am

    Lucky lad, he be…Had the flight continued on to DFW with him aboard, chances are he would have been unmercifully pummeled by the DFW rurales, then throwed under the jail.

  2. goaeiou

    January 18, 2019 at 8:08 am

    He would have been treated as a hero in Texas.
    Just normal behavior.

  3. jrpallante

    January 18, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Is this stupid comment Friday, or is ignorance and bigotry simply de rigueur for some FT readers? If you know nothing about a place, you should try to learn before commenting.

  4. chavala

    January 18, 2019 at 11:20 am

    “Is this stupid comment Friday, or is ignorance and bigotry simply de rigueur for some FT readers? If you know nothing about a place, you should try to learn before commenting”

    Yes, I think it must be!

  5. AsiaTravel2019

    January 20, 2019 at 8:26 am

    They punishment would have been very severe in the US. Here, he would have been charged with “interfering with a flight crew,” a crime which carries a large fine and jail sentence.

  6. mvoight

    January 21, 2019 at 7:46 am

    I suspect he was a fan of the song “Drunk on a Plane”

  7. alexmyboy

    January 23, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Texas snowflake, boo hoo. I am from the Detroit area and no one bad mouths Detroit of course.

  8. landwatersky

    March 15, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Looks like the girlfriend made a very good decision.

  9. mvoight

    January 7, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    I had missed this originall. “Libby, a student at Texas Christian University”
    Just showing that Christian exuberance, I guess

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