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A drunk passenger waiting for his JetBlue flight at Orlando International Airport (MCO) was pepper sprayed by police officers after causing a violent scene at the flight’s gate.
The passenger, 45-year-old Brandon Strong, reportedly began harassing a woman while waiting at the airport’s Gate 3 for his flight to Salt Lake City, which had been pushed back from 6:45pm to 8:15pm. Strong called the woman passenger an obscene name, according to Orlando’s News 13, citing the police report for the incident.
After that encounter, a JetBlue staff member told Strong he wouldn’t be boarding the flight. Becoming upset, Strong approached the flight’s closed jetbridge door and said he would be “f—ing traveling.” When the JetBlue employee once again told him that he wouldn’t be boarding the flight, Strong grabbed the airline worker.
The JetBlue employee and other passengers tried to stop Strong. Police arrived on the scene and saw JetBlue supervisors running toward the gate. Police officers smelt alcohol on Strong’s breath when they began speaking to him. One officer attempted to detain Strong and told him to drop his bag and come with them. Strong refused and told the officer to release him or “bad things would happen.”
One more time, the officer told Strong that he needed to drop the bag or he would be pepper sprayed. He refused, so the officers pepper sprayed him. Airport officials said passengers nearby were affected by the spray and were given medical assistance at the gate. Even after the spray, the man continued to resist arrest and struggle against the handcuffs. Eventually, additional passengers and a JetBlue supervisor had to help the police officers hold down Strong to get the handcuffs on him.
— Sam (@Slake03) October 21, 2018
Additional police officers came to help remove Strong from the airport and to Orange County Jail, where he was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, disorderly intoxication, battery and child neglect.
Strong’s 8-year-old son was at the gate for the entire skirmish, staying with JetBlue employees until another family member picked him up.
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