Last Updated 7 months ago
A drunk passenger on an EasyJet flight from Manchester, England, to Iceland made his phone a snack after a violent outburst, which prompted the flight to make an emergency landing in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Matthew Flaherty, 44, was charged Monday with disorderly conduct, acting in a manner likely to endanger others, and uttering threats of violence and racial remarks in the January 2019 incident.
According to reports, the incident began Jan. 28 when Flaherty grabbed a bottle of liquor from his carry-on bag and began chugging while on the flight. Once drunk, the man started verbally harassing a nearby female passenger. When she ignored him, he told her to “f— off” and threatened to “kill her family,” Edinburgh Live reported.
Once flight attendants attempted to intervene, Flaherty threatened them as well, allegedly telling one flight crew member “I am going to kill you if you do not shut up.”
The crew expressed their concerns to the pilot, who made the decision to land. On the descent, Flaherty reportedly pulled out his smartphone and began disassembling it and chewing on the pieces. The battery fell from the phone and started to smolder on the seat.
The man’s disorderly antics did not end on the ground, however. Once arrested in Scotland and taken to the police station, Flaherty continued his charged verbal tirade. He repeatedly threatened and hurled racial slurs at one of the officers.
Flaherty’s defense attorney claimed his client’s behavior was unlike him and was due to a combination of alcohol and painkillers he had been prescribed, which had “an adverse effect on his behavior.”
The man pleaded guilty to the charges and is facing possible jail time.
A spokesperson for EasyJet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.