March 2, 2003
WASHINGTON -- A plane was diverted Saturday after air marshals arrested a passenger after he began shouting "Majority rules! Turn the plane around!" and walked toward an exit during a flight from New York's LaGuardia Airport to New Orleans.
Richard Perez, 30, of Bay Shore, N.Y., was arrested and taken to a hospital after the plane landed at Charlotte, N.C., said Robert Johnson, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration.
Johnson said crew members had told Perez to sit down after he walked toward the front of the plane and started yelling 45 minutes after taking off at 8:10 a.m. He returned to his seat, then got up and shouted again as he headed for an exit door before three passengers and an air marshal intervened, Johnson said.