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JetBlue flight diverted to MSP after passenger snorts white substance, refuses to wear mask

The passenger was removed from the plane at MSP and detained.

A JetBlue flight bound for San Francisco was diverted to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday for an unruly passenger who reportedly wouldn't wear a mask and was doing drugs on the plane.

MSP Airport spokesperson Jeff Lea told Bring Me The News JetBlue flight 915 from New York to San Francisco landed at MSP around 4:40 p.m. "because of a report of an unruly passenger on board."

"The passenger was removed from the aircraft at MSP and detained," Lea said. 

The MSP Airport police arrested the 42-year-old Mechanicville, New York, man on probable charges of fifth-degree drug possession. Charges haven't been formally filed, but are being considered by Hennepin County Attorney's Office, according to Lea and the arrest report. 

A passenger on the flight shared video of a JetBlue employee sharing details of what happened, including the passenger refusing to put on their mask, making stabbing motions toward passengers and touching, possibly inadvertently, another passenger, who flight attendants moved because she was uncomfortable. He was also seen snorting a "white substance," and flight attendants found a baggie of a white substance in his seat.

"So he kept walking back and forth to the bathroom, he had no shoes on, and he smelled awful," Delaney Washington, who was sitting near the bathroom, told ABC 7 News in San Francisco.

Because flight attendants felt uncomfortable with the man on the flight, the decision was made to land at MSP Airport, the employee said in the video.

In a statement to Bring Me The News, JetBlue said: 

"On Sunday, JetBlue flight 915 with scheduled service from New York’s JFK Airport to San Francisco, was forced to divert to Minneapolis after a customer on board began acting erratically and aggressively toward crewmembers and other customers. The flight was met by law enforcement, the customer was removed and the flight continued on to San Francisco. Safety is JetBlue’s first priority, and we appreciate our crewmembers’ response and our customers’ patience during this incident."

The TSA recently extended the face mask requirement at airports and on airplanes, as well as across all transportation networks in the U.S., until Sept. 13. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week face masks would still be required on airplanes. 

The FAA has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cause disturbances on flights or fail to obey flight crew instructions. The policy stems from an increase in violent and unruly passengers in the past year, including those who refused to comply with face mask policies. 

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