Passenger Recounts Chaos on Flight Home

American Airlines plane | Image by Tupungato/Shutterstock

An airplane passenger recounted the chaos that erupted aboard his and his family’s flight on their journey home.

Las Vegas resident Keith Edward Fagiana was onboard American Airlines flight 1497 flying out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport when he had a violent outburst about an hour into the flight, forcing an emergency landing at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

Fagiana reportedly ended up assaulting police officers as they attempted to remove him from the plane.

Court documents allege that Fagiana had “violently” kicked a seat in front of him and shouted expletives at a flight attendant after the attendant asked him to stop kicking the seat. Fagiana then purportedly punched the attendant in the stomach, according to NBC 5 DFW.

Montana resident J.P. Gallagher and his family were passengers aboard the flight on their way home from a family vacation in Cozumel. They witnessed the chaos aboard the plane. Gallagher said he saw Fagiana assault the flight attendant.

“As soon as that happened, the flight attendant said, ‘What are you doing?’ With a little better word than that, and then I think the guy went to attack him again. And that’s when the other people in the first class, some gentlemen from up there, joined in and helped restrain the gentleman at that time,” said Gallagher, according to NBC 5.

Gallagher said the pilot alerted passengers that they were being rerouted after flight personnel restrained Fagiana. Gallagher praised the staff despite the eight-hour delay caused by the incident.

“I think the reaction of the flight staff and then also the people that were directly surrounding the area, they reacted extremely well, and the people in the flight really maintained calm. It didn’t become frantic inside the plane at all,” said Gallagher, per NBC 5.

Fagiana is expected to make his first federal court appearance on Monday, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

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