Man removed from SD flight for making threats

Posted at 8:53 AM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 16:22:37-04

SAN DIEGO ? A male passenger was removed from a San Francisco-bound plane at Lindbergh Field just prior to take off Tuesday morning after he allegedly made concerning remarks.

The man was escorted off United Airlines Flight 662 just after 7 a.m. while the plane was parked at the gate. He was removed by United Airlines staff because he was "saying things that caused concern," according to a Lindbergh Field spokesperson. A United spokesperson added that he made threatening remarks that were enough to make the flight crew uncomfortable.

The plane was scheduled for takeoff at 7:13 a.m., but did not depart until 7:36 a.m. It was scheduled to land in San Francisco at 8:48 a.m.

Investigators determined that the man, in his late 50s, had made no threats, committed no crime and apparently was in need of some mental health assistance. He was taken to a psychiatric hospital for an evaluation, SDHP Lt. John Forsythe said.

The exact nature of the man's statements was unclear. Forsythe said they likely involved the hours-old airport and subway-station attacks in Brussels, which left at least 30 people dead and many more injured.

The San Diego resident's comments simply "made (fellow passengers) nervous, especially since he kept repeating himself," the lieutenant said.