Flight 665 was headed from Denver to Dulles International Airport Thursday (Nov. 8) night when an unidentified man broke into prayer and refused to stop.
After the flight attendant convinced the man to take his seat, he got back up, started mumbling, kneeled down and began praying. Passengers were able to subdue him, but the pilot chose to make an emergency declaration, at which point the Boeing 757 received a military escort to safety. The aircraft landed at 7:10 p.m., two hours ahead of schedule. “The flight declared an emergency because a passenger would not follow flight attendant instructions for landing,” United spokeswoman, Megan McCarthy told CNN in a statement.
Bill Lewis, Lt. Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command added that the military aid was called on “out of an abundance of caution.”
Once the plane landed the passenger was escorted away in handcuffs, and will not face charges. While one assumption is that he was Muslim since Islamic prayer is done on one's knees, the man's religious affiliation has not been released.
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