Unruly Air Passenger Subdued With Duct Tape


ABC News' John Schriffen reports:

Newly released cellphone video shows passengers on board an international flight subduing an unruly passenger by tying him to his seat with duct tape and zip ties after he began screaming and hitting other passengers.

Thursday's Iceland Air flight from Reykjavik to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport sparked nationwide curiosity after a photo circulating on the Internet showed the passenger tied to his seat with tape and plastic restraints.

The unidentified passenger allegedly downed an entire bottle of duty-free alcohol, according to a man who posted the photo on his blog, who said the picture was taken by a friend on the flight.

The airline has accused the man of accosting and hitting people on the flight. Passengers say he even tried to choke the person next to him and screamed, "The plane is going to crash."

Passengers can be seen on the video cutting off pieces of duct tape, which were later used to subdue the man. Plastic zip ties were used to tie his legs together to keep him from moving.

"Somebody who is out of control needs to be restrained," said ABC News aviation analyst John Nance. "I have seen numerous times, especially since 9/11, passengers jumping in and making sure that somebody gets restrained when they are acting very odd or trying to break into the cockpit door."

In a statement, Iceland Air says that after the man was restrained, he was monitored for the remainder of the flight.

Nance said, "Duct-taping him to the chair was very useful and clever but in a major emergency, trying to get that individual out of that seat could have been a major problem."

The plane landed without incident at JFK and the man was taken into custody. No charges have been filed despite complaints from passengers that they were scared enough to take matters into their own hands.

A call to the Port Authority to identify the man has not been returned.