LaGuardia Airport: No Crime in LaGuardia Flight Landing Incident, New York and New Jersey Port Authority Says
The decision was made by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the FBI and the Port Authority Police Department, by spokesman Thomas Topousis.
The flight, a Republic Airways service operating as American Airlines flight 4817, was evacuated on arrival “in response to passenger reports of suspicious and erratic behavior by another passenger,” according to a statement released on Saturday by the port authority.
Law enforcement and first responders encountered the plane, Republic Airways said on Saturday, and “the passenger involved in the incident” has been taken into custody.
The first reports of the passenger acting suspiciously were made by other passengers on board, Topousis said on Sunday, and it was not an assessment made by authorities which prompted the airline’s crew Act.
The plane declared an emergency on Saturday “in response to passenger behavior towards the end of the flight,” according to a statement from the air carrier.
Passengers told port authority police that at some point in the flight the passenger had reached their luggage and they were scared, Topousis told CNN. There were 76 passengers and six crew on board the flight, he added.
“The previous incident involving a disruptive American Airlines / Republic Airways passenger and a passenger evacuation has been resolved,” the tweet said.
A passenger described what happened
Earlier on Saturday, the pilot alerted authorities on the ground to the incident and when the aircraft landed on a runway, an “aircraft runway excursion was carried out to free the passengers from the airliner” , according to the previous press release from the port authority.
Investigators questioned the passenger who allegedly acted suspiciously as well as several passengers seated closest to this person, to find out more about what happened on the flight, the port authority added.
The Port Authority Police Department called New York City firefighters to assist with an emergency landing flight, FDNY told CNN.
Indianapolis resident Laura Bergdoll, who was on the flight with her 7-year-old son, told CNN as soon as the plane landed “the pilots and flight attendants started yelling ‘Evacuate! Evacuate!’ and we all got off the plane. ”
The Transportation Security Administration said Saturday’s incident “was an example of a ‘see something, say something’ situation,” according to a statement from TSA spokesman Sari Koshetz.
The passengers reported seeing suspicious behavior on the plane to the flight crew and the flight crew then alerted the captain, who in turn “took the precaution of parking far from the terminal”, Koshetz said.
New York Port Authority police responded to the incident, along with an explosive ordnance disposal team and a K-9 team, and clarified the situation, Koshetz added.