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Flight to Minneapolis makes emergency landing after passenger's cocaine freak-out

The man was punching seats and threatening other passengers before firing up a joint.

The man was punching seats and threatening other passengers before firing up a joint. Getty

Plenty of people get drunk or high before flying as a way to deal with the anxiety of hurtling above the planet in a large metal tube. But cocaine may not be the best choice.

On Friday, passengers were an hour into an American Airlines flight from Phoenix to Minneapolis when a man in the back began announcing to others that he was coked up. His declaration apparently wasn't of the pleasant coked-up variety. It was more the panicked, off-kilter, this-guy's-about-to-get-weird kind.

This is not the type of behavior you want when airborne in said metal tube. Especially when the guy is punching seats, yelling, and threatening other passengers. Nor did it help when he locked himself in a bathroom to smoke, yelling through the door that “you're all screwed.”

As flight attendants tried to coax him out, the pilot announced an emergency landing in Denver due to "a security issue in the back."

A few minutes before landing, the guy reemerged in an agitated state. Police were called as they hit the ground. The guy responded by firing up a joint and attempting to punch another passenger. As the noted newsgathering service TMZ reported, he was “super aggro.”

The man was handcuffed and strapped to a stretcher. He screamed that the cuffs were too tight, and threatened to kill cops and paramedics. “I'll fucking kill you!” he repeatedly yelled.

But responding officers took a rather gentle approach. Instead of tuning the guy up with the pallet of felonies available for disrupting a flight, they simply took him to a hospital.

For the moment at least, no charges have been filed, and police are merely treating it as a medical incident.