Skip to content
-6.7 °Cforecast >
Cloudy

North Bay man recounts how he helped diffuse a high tension situation on board an Air Canada Flight

'If I had my family with me, that would have been a whole other level of terror.' - Mike Breadmore
0

"I took notice of him right away, and I thought to myself, I hope this guy's not on our plane." 

Mike Breadmore knew even before the unruly passenger boarded Monday's Air Canada Flight from Jamaica to Toronto, that something was wrong.  

"He was right out of it. You could say he looked like his skin was crawling. He was agitated, he was bouncing around in his seat talking to himself, snapping his head around. He was definitely not right."

About an hour into the four hour flight, Breadmore and his wife Bobbie Lynn Shank, were startled out of their sleep by a loud voice coming from across the aisle, behind them.  It was the same passenger Breadmore had been concerned about back at the airport. The flight attendants tried to get the 33 year old passenger to calm down, instead, he became increasingly more boisterous and threatening.

Breadmore said at one point the man grabbed the lever on the emergency exit, yelling "'It only takes one person to bring down a plane and I'll take you all with me."

Realizing the man needed to be restrained, the flight attendants approached Breadmore and a few of the other passengers asking for their help.  

"I played a lot of sports, I'm a team player.  Your natural instinct is to help out if somebody's in danger.  He was agitated with the stewardess, he was aggressive, I don't think there was any opportunity to talk this guy out of his situation."

Without hesitation, Breadmore agreed to help.

"I said that's not a problem, but we need to get these women out of these seats so they're not freaking out while we're trying to take this guy down.He was strung out on something and it took almost six or seven of us to take him down and get him restrained."

A Bell technician, the North Bay resident knew how to use the zip ties he was handed.  Eventually the men were able to restrain unruly passenger by tying his arms and legs to the seat.  The pilot diverted the flight to Orlando, Florida, where FBI agents and Border Patrol Officers physically removed the aggressive man from the plane. While the FBI continued to investigate, the co-pilot reassured passengers that unlike in the movies, there are more steps involved in removing an exit door, than just lifting the lever. 

In his opinion, Breadmore said the man was in a "crazy enough state" that he should never have been allowed to board the plane back in Jamaica. 

Breadmore described the ordeal as a "high tension situation, not knowing what the man was capable of doing."  He said his wife, who isn't easily rattled, was terrified along with the other passengers. 

"I was trying to stay calm, I wasn't in a good place either thinking of what the possibilities were, but you do what you can to keep it together and hopefully, things turn out for the best, which they did. So I'm pretty happy for that."

Breadmore gives the flight attendants full marks for how they handled the situation. 

"Those three flight attendants, I give 100% props to.  The one lady spoke to him face-to-face while he held a hot pot of coffee at her.  She spoke to him in a calm, authoritative manner as best as she could.  I give them credit 100%.  They did a great job."

The couple is thankful their four children were not on vacation with them.

"It's pretty scary stuff, I've never encountered anything remotely close to this before.  As far as flying again?  Yeah, I'll do it. I enjoy my vacations, I enjoy getting away but if I had my family with me that would have been a whole other level of terror."  

 



Comments


More Local News