AN "unruly" passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight who forced the plane to make an emergency landing at Sangster International Airport on Monday was admonished and discharged when he appeared in the St James Parish Court on Wednesday.
Twenty-nine-year-old Eaton Thomas of Pinfold Gardens, Cudworth, was charged with disorderly conduct and breaches of the Civil Aviation Authority Act.
According to court records, about 4:50 pm, the investigating officer was contacted by an airport coordinator, who gave him information on a Spirit Airlines flight that had departed from Colombia and was destined for Orlando, Florida.
The officer was informed that the flight would be diverted to the Sangster International Airport due to an unruly and disruptive passenger on board who was to be removed from the flight. The passenger was also alleged to be under the influence of an aphrodisiac laced with a foreign object resembling a mushroom, necessitating police aid.
Based on the information he had received, the officer arrived at gate 19 with a sergeant and three other police officers where they saw immigration officers, customs agents, and Spirit Airlines personnel waiting for the flight crew.
Based on the previously received report, the officer made enquiries, and a Spirit Airlines flight attendant informed him that a male passenger on board the flight was being unruly and disruptive, creating a scene by jumping over other passengers' seat, and posing a threat to the aircraft and its equipment.
Thomas is also said to have been verbally abusive to the flight crew and passengers, and that at one point, he was attempting to open the emergency exit. He also disregarded specific orders.
Thomas also used his chest to shove one of the flight attendant while in flight and in Jamaican airspace, the court was told.
As a result of his behaviour, passengers in the same area began to protest that they wanted to be seated elsewhere from him as they weren't feeling safe.
The flight captain then made an emergency landing at the Sangster International Airport.
Thomas was later pointed out as the person who was behaving disorderly and disruptively on board the aircraft, and posing a threat to the aircraft and its passengers.
He was escorted to the airport police station where he was interviewed and later charged.
Thomas, who wept openly in court, denied the allegations.
"It is not true…If you check the CCTV camera, you will know it is not true," added Thomas.
He also indicated to the court that he wanted to be released and buy his own ticket.
"I'm not a criminal…I'm a famous person…I've been abused and I'm not happy about that," he said.
The case was temporarily postponed to allow attorney-at-law Chumu Paris, who appeared amicus, to take instructions from him.
When the matter was revisited, Thomas pleaded guilty to the charge, and was admonished and discharged on both charges.