MIAMI — Police repeatedly used a stun gun in Miami on Sunday as they struggled to remove an American Airlines passenger accused of touching a female passenger without her permission.
A Miami-Dade police report says the flight crew told officers they tried to move 28-year-old Jacob Garcia of Chicago to another seat, but he continued to be unruly, screaming and insulting the woman and her boyfriend.
Police then asked Garcia to leave Flight 2446, which was waiting to take off from Miami to Chicago, but he refused.
After Garcia was asked to move seats he began screaming at the female passenger and her boyfriend. A passenger on the plane said he said a racial slur to the guards.
“Right before the guy sits down in his seat, he turns to the security guard and shouts at him he said, ‘My people were building civilizations while you monkeys were still swinging from the trees,’” Adisak Pochanayon said. “There was a couple people on the flight who wanted to get up and leave. There was a black gentleman two rows in front who was like, ‘I can’t be on this flight with this racist.”
Pochanayon recorded video from the incident. He said after Garcia refused to leave the plane, the pilot announced the whole plane would have to be emptied.
Pochanayon said he believes something just wasn’t right with Garcia who showed great physical strength and an ability to be unfazed by the Taser.
Passenger videos show police zapping the man as they struggled to get him off the plane. He kept asking why they were removing him. Passengers can be seen clapping and cheering as Garcia is later escorted through the airport.
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Garcia faces disorderly conduct and other charges. Jail records don’t list an attorney.
An American Airlines statement says crew members asked the man to get off the plane after he had a “disagreement” with another passenger Sunday night; the man refused to leave and the crew began deplaning passengers. The statement says during that process, a physical altercation broke out between the two passengers.
The plane left an hour late.