Off-Duty Cop Tackles Angry Passenger on JetBlue Plane

A New York City police officer was returning from a Thanksgiving holiday getaway to the Dominican Republic when a fellow passenger began disturbing seatmates with what the New York Post described as alcohol-fueled, profanity-laced rants.

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Unruly Passenger ‘Punches’ Flight Attendant

The 22-year-old passenger reportedly went “wild” after flight attendants told him to stop drinking. He then allegedly punched a male flight attendant before being tackled by 18-year NYPD veteran Anibal Mercado. Mercado fastened some plastic handcuffs on the suspect, but the younger man kept raging until the flight landed at JFK, where he was arrested by Port Authority police. Those cops were also allegedly kicked and punched by the cuffed man as he was taken into custody.

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Cop: ‘I’m No Hero’

The officer declined to take credit for any special heroics. Said Mercado, “It was normal routine, except that I was up 30,000 feet.”

Nevertheless, the Post‘s story on the incident lauded the officer with one of its usual eye-catching headlines:  “Hero cop: Passengers’ fear made me take jet boozehound down.

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Published: November 29, 2011