Drunk Bengals fan kicked off Frontier Airlines flight over Super Bowl dispute
A video captured on a Frontier Airlines flight shows an unruly passenger being placed in a chokehold before he was removed from the plane while loudly declaring that he "was the only Bengals fan".The unidentified man was escorted off of the plane as it waited to depart from Cleveland to Phoenix.
In a cellphone video, the unidentified man can be heard yelling, "I was a Bengals fan, I was the only Bengals fan. I'm not a bad person, bro, I drank a little too much, and one guy back there had a problem that I was drinking too much," while being escorted towards the exit. The witnesses said the unidentified man on the flight began exchanging words about the Cincinnati Bengals being in the Super Bowl in the lead up to Sunday's game on February, 13.
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The video of the incident shows another passenger grabbing the man and putting him in a chokehold. A friend of the unruly passenger then began shouting at the man to release the chokehold and he eventually complied. The witnesses said it appeared the man was being escorted off from the plane when he lunged at the Frontier employee.
Jason Brake, the passenger who recorded the video in an interview, said, "Before I had actually recorded, he said that they were discriminating against him because he possibly did have too much to drink." Brake added that the Bengals fan and the man who had choked him both escalated the situation. "When I watched that, I was like, OK, this guy is assaulting somebody that they’re trying to remove from the plane", said Brake. "The guy is not qualified to handle that situation and it could have made it worse, and you've got all these people that are stuck there and there's going to be a stampede to try to get out of a little small door,' Brake told the Daily Mail.
The plane eventually departed for Phoenix shortly after the Bengals fan was removed from the flight, with everyone including captain and crew discussing the role alcohol played in the flight's delay. Brake explained, "The captain and the crew did make the comment that 'This is why you do not buy your own alcohol and you drink it on board because this will happen,' and they basically said, 'We hope that he won’t be on any future flights with us.'"
"People have to make the wise decision. I mean, alcohol and flying just really don’t mix," Brake said.
Frontier Airlines issued a statement on Thursday, February 10. The spokesperson called the Bengals fan as "increasingly aggressive" and added that the Cincinnati fan has since been arrested by local enforcement. The passenger has been permanently placed on the airlines "prevent departure list", said the spokesperson.
The Bengals are scheduled to take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, February 13 with kickoff set to take place at 6:30 pm ET.