A 28-year-old Chicago man was in custody on Monday after police used a stun gun to arrest him aboard an American Airlines plane after he refused to move seats when accused of touching a female passenger without her permission at Miami International Airport.
Jacob Garcia began screaming insults on Sunday when airline staff tried to move him to another seat after the woman and her boyfriend accused him of touching her inappropriately, according to a Miami-Dade Police Department arrest report.
Police ordered everyone off the plane, which was about to depart for Chicago, according to the arrest report and an American Airlines statement. Garcia began fighting with the couple, and officers hurried aboard.
Garcia refused to budge from his seat, police said. A stun gun had little effect on him, possibly because it did not attach properly through his clothing, the arrest report said. Eventually he stood up and walked off the plane under police escort, but continued to resist and twice attempted to grab a police officer’s gun.
Cellphone video posted online shows passengers clapping and cheering as Garcia is walked through the airport struggling against the police officers.
Police charged Garcia with battery, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer, among other charges. It was not immediately clear whether Garcia had a lawyer. He remained in custody on Monday morning at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, according to online records.
American Airlines said in its statement it followed its normal procedures after the “disagreement” between passengers broke out, and said the flight departed with the remaining passengers about an hour after the scheduled time.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)
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