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Worst Passenger of the Week: Arrested for Berating Trump Surrogate Throughout Flight

Every Friday, FlyerTalk looks back at the week’s most charming individuals. While there are always plenty of contenders for our Worst Passenger of the Week award, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory. Here are this week’s winners.

Third Place – Great! Yet Another Reason for Apple Users to Act Smug

It hasn’t been a great news cycle for consumer electronics giant Samsung. First, many major airlines and regulatory agencies were forced to alert passengers to the potential fire danger posed by the company’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The FAA issued a warning that “strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.”

More recently, concerns over Samsung washing machines that are apparently breaking apart in violent shrapnel-generating “explosions” have prompted recalls. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) even issued an urgent warning about some of the company’s washing machine models, all of which, thankfully, exceed the baggage size limits on most commercial airline flights.

Then, news broke that a Delta Airlines flight from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) was forced to make an emergency landing when a Samsung tablet reportedly overheated in-flight. The flight landed safely at Manchester Airport (MAN) and was able to continue on to AMS a short time later.

In this case, it seems a forgetful traveler was to blame rather than a flawed product design. The notebook that overheated was not included in the recall nor is it included in any consumer or air travel advisories. A passenger on a previous flight apparently left the device behind on the aircraft. The tablet is said to have remained wedged between seats causing it to dangerously overheat and leading to some tense moments over the Atlantic Ocean.

The Runners-up – A Rough Week for Those Trying to Smuggle Weird Things on Airplanes

With seemingly endless security checkpoint and customs inspection lines, it sometimes seems as if there is a conspiracy to make air travel as much of a hassle as possible. This week, however, even the most jaded flyer might just be glad there’s someone asking the question, “What’s in the bag?”

According to the TSA,”Officers at Chicago O’Hare (ORD) discovered a throwing knife on a chain around a passenger’s neck during a pat-down after he opted out of body scanner screening.” This passenger’s clever plan was foiled when alert screeners noticed the throwing knife shaped necklace around the man’s neck during the pat-down The agency took to its weekly blog to remind passengers that throwing knives on chains are prohibited on commercial airline flights.

Bailey’s “Original Irish Cream” is a key component in a wide variety of holiday-themed cocktails, but the bottles of Bailey’s Dulce de Leche seized from a pair of JetBlue passengers after a Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) to John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) flight contained an entirely different sort of libation.

Customs agents say Irish coffees made with these ingredients would have packed quite a punch. Rather than rich, delicious Irish cream, the liquor bottles officials discovered instead contained a very potent form of liquid cocaine. Both passengers were arrested and later released on $50,000 bond.

This week’s gutsiest smuggler, however, has to be the woman who flew from Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK) in Morocco all the way to Graz Airport (GRZ) in Austria with her dead husband’s intestines carefully packed in her luggage. While the passenger had some explaining to do about the icky cargo, it turns out she had a perfectly reasonable rationale for traveling across international borders with human entrails in her suitcase.

The widow explained that she suspected foul play in her late husband’s death and hoped to have the tissue examined for signs of poison. While the intestines were stored by authorities for future forensic testing, the bowel-smuggling passenger was released without charges. Police told local media that despite the salacious nature of the story, “No laws were broken.”

The Winner – The Captain has Turned on the “No Politics” Sign

Police in Charlotte, NC say that 36-year-old Preston Bluntson really, really does’t like Sheriff David A Clarke Jr. Preston was arrested after Clarke, a well-known political pundit and Milwaukee County Sheriff, says Bluntson allegedly spent most of a two-hour American flight from General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) berating and generally verbally abusing the outspoken Donald Trump supporter.

The fact that the uncivil political discord occurred on what is described as a small 12-row-aircraft made the scene that much more uncomfortable. Eyewitnesses reported that Preston’s debate skills were not at their best, as he spent a good deal of the flight consuming adult beverages which helped to reduce his well-reasoned political points to a mostly childish rant which included a fair share of racial slurs directed at the celebrity sheriff.

“The guy was very abusive,” one passenger on the flight told reporters. “Probably the last 20 minutes it really escalated and focused on Clarke. In all my years flying, I’ve never seen anything like it”

Sheriff Clarke has a reputation for fiery responses to those who challenge him. In this instance, however, the staunch Donald Trump supporter didn’t take the bait. Clarke reportedly only engaged Bluntson after he directed a racial epithet at the Sheriff. Clarke is said to have simply told the abusive passenger to “shut up.”

In the end, Sheriff Clarke had the last word, as he later recounted on Fox News. “When I told him to sit down, he wouldn’t. So, then I shoved him face down into the seat, pinned him against the seat and put one arm behind his back, told him to stay there [and] not resist arrest,” Clarke said. “I told the flight attendant to radio for police at the gate, to have the police meet me there – they did. When they boarded, I asked the officer who came up to me, I said, ‘give me your handcuffs.’ She did, and then I handcuffed him, [and] turned him over. I didn’t worry about jurisdiction or that nonsense. I had to worry about protecting people.”

[Photo: Fox News]

Comments are Closed.
JimAtl October 15, 2016

This is a disturbing story: a bully attacks another man because he did not like what he has to say, and follows up by abusing an authority that he didn't have, at the time, to place a peaceful person in handcuffs. The other passenger placed no one in harm's way, other than Donald Trump and David A. Clarke Jr.'s reputation. Anyone can take note that the flight crew did not ask anyone for help in flight, despite the sheriff's claim of harassment and obnoxiousness. David A Clarke Jr. shows himself to be a bully, a liar and a racist (regardless of his own skin color) through his actions. He attacks a person whom he should be protecting under his proper authority. He is unfit to enforce the laws that he doesn't respect himself. He shouldn't be congratulated, he should be fired and put in jail.

Here2There October 9, 2016

I agree with N1120A. I dont know the Politics of Clarke, but how does a Milwaukee Sheriff order a Charlotte cop to give him her handcuffs and she complies?

N1120A October 5, 2016

The passenger 1) was not causing a safety issue, 2) was attacked by Clarke outside his jurisdiction, 3) was expressing his grievances to a government official. If the flight crew didn't say anything to the passenger about stopping, which would have been their legal right to do and completely enforceable, then Clarke was in the wrong and just being his typical, idiot self.

bevotex October 4, 2016

Really N1120A! You weren't even there. Verbally abusing another person for entire flight, come on. You just don't like his politics.

burbanite October 4, 2016

Great job Sheriff Clarke! The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release on the incident, saying that Clarke intervened midway through the flight when a man became profane and began harassing flight crew and passengers. “The sheriff left his seat...and told the man to ‘chill out.’...The man continued his obnoxious behavior and on approach to landing he got out of his seat...While the plane taxied to the gate he began taunting the sheriff, asking him what he was going to do about it,” said the statement from the Sheriff’s Office. “Clarke ordered him to sit down and when he refused, Clarke shoved the unruly passenger face down and pinned him against the seat and held him there until the flight arrived at the gate.”