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Flyer Accused of Biting Ear Off Fellow Passenger, Forcing Emergency Landing

Boeing 777 United

A United Airlines flyer is facing accusations of biting another passenger’s ear off and possession of methamphetamine, causing a flight to make an emergency landing in South Carolina. 45-year-old John Yurkovich was arrested at Charleston International Airport, after flight attendants and other passengers were allegedly forced to intervene.

After forcing an emergency landing due to allegedly biting another passenger’s ear off, a United Airlines flyer is facing at least one charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Charleston, South Carolina CBS affiliate WCSC reports 45-year-old John Yurkovich was arrested at Charleston International Airport (CHS) by airport police after an emergency landing.

Flyer Allegedly Became “Agitated” After Lavatory Trip, Leading to Altercation

The incident happened aboard a regularly scheduled United flight from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Miami International Airport (MIA) on Wednesday, March 18, 2021. According to eyewitnesses, the incident began when Yurkovich made a trip to the lavatory during the flight.

When he returned, those aboard say he became “very agitated,” leading him to become restless. After reportedly taking pills from his carry-on bag, he then began to “scream and thrash around.” The flyer is then accused of punching two people in the face, breaking one’s glasses and the nose of the other. The main victim – a passenger sitting beside the man – suffered a laceration to his ear, which was caused by Yurkovich allegedly biting him.

An emergency was declared, and the flight was forced to make an emergency landing at CHS. When police boarded the flight, they reportedly found Yurkovich face-down on the floor, restrained by a belt and zip-ties, with his shirt over his face. Police also found 1.5 grams of methamphetamine on his person. A man identified as a physician aboard the flight also told police he administered a shot of Benadryl with the hopes of calming down the flyer.

During his first court hearing, a judge set a $50,000 surety bond for the flyer. It is unclear if he remains in custody.

Incident Happens After FAA Expands Penalties for Badly Behaved Flyers

Yurkovich’s arrest took place after the Federal Aviation Administration extended the increased civil penalties on passengers who interfere with a flight. In addition to criminal penalties, the flyer could also face up to $35,000 in fines.

DLBryon March 23, 2021

I came for the comments, and I was not disappointed.

MRM March 23, 2021

SaltyGB is on to something...I like the way he thinks!

flurb March 20, 2021

John Yurkovich. A clear case of ear today, gone tomorrow.

CrimsonKnight1776 March 19, 2021

This is why wearing a mask is so important!

toxman March 19, 2021

Maybe his punishment should be the loss of his teeth…