Bust up! London Mayor Boris Johnson tries to tame drunkard on Malaysia flight
In a show of apparent gallantry, Johnson reportedly warned the man he would be arrested for his aggressive behavior, allegedly racist abuse of staff, and refusal to stop “ranting” at other passengers.
The 43-year-old passenger was strapped down and handcuffed by staff before his removal at Heathrow Airport by six officers.
Johnson, who was flying back from a tour of Malaysia promoting bilateral trade with southeast Asia, reportedly found the incident amusing and praised the plane’s staff for their professionalism.
Tom Oakes, a fellow passenger, said the drunken man was “racially abusing staff, clearly drunk and demanding more drinks.”
“The crew took him down the plane and spent an hour or so calming him down,” he added.
Oakes said the cabin crew were “nervous” about the man’s behavior, and said he continued to be aggressive until the crew “pinned him down” and strapped him to a seat.
“The mayor laughed the incident off and congratulated the crew for their work, which was excellent,” Oakes added.
Eileen Burbage, another delegate from the conference, praised the actions of the staff on Twitter, saying that their handling of the situation was “amazing.”
so impressed w/MH2 cabin crew (Kuala Lumpur-LHR); amazing professionalism/handling of passenger who was off his head pic.twitter.com/IFmUqKsDkD— Eileen Burbidge (@eileentso) December 3, 2014
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson confirmed that the man was arrested upon arrival in London on suspicion of common assault and being drunk on board an aircraft.
“He was taken to a west London police station, where he remains in custody,” the spokesperson added.
.@TonyW yes I was (took that photo myself); that was simply when they were changing his restraints (there was a head butt incident earlier)— Eileen Burbidge (@eileentso) December 3, 2014
Speaking on behalf of Johnson, a spokesperson confirmed the Mayor “did make several attempts to calm the gentleman concerned, but to no avail.”
“We understand the gentleman was restrained by the crew and detained by police on arrival at Heathrow,” Johnson’s representative said.