An unruly passenger forced an American Airlines flight from Arizona to Minnesota to make an emergency landing on Friday after the suspect allegedly threatened passengers, shouting, & # 39; you are all turned off & # 39; and lit a cigarette in the cabin and in the bathroom, two passengers tell Fox News.
Jim Dickey says he and his wife Megan were on their way to a conference in Minneapolis when, 30 minutes into the trip, the couple heard the unruly passenger turn on something and swore to another passenger.  The man continued to pick a fight with another passenger before hitting the seat of a woman in front of him, who was screaming, says Dickey. He says the man hit the plane sometimes, which is the point that Dickey and his wife knew something was wrong.
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"My wife and I were like, 'We're not coming to Minneapolis,'" says Dickey.
It was then almost an hour into the flight from Phoenix to Minneapolis, the pilot announced that there was "a safety issue in the back," which required the plane to be diverted and landed in Denver, Colo.  "I think everyone knew what it was for," says Dickey.
The couple say they had a perfect view into the bathroom, where they noticed the man running down the aisle towards the toilet while shouting that he had to pee.
"He runs into the bathroom and all we hear is screaming [in there] and he hits panels. We're not sure what's going on in there," says Dickey. "One, he started smoking a cigarette in there. "The flight attendant hoped maybe he would stay in the bathroom." .
When the plane was about to land, the man left the toilet and returned to his seat, where he was described as very annoying, according to TMZ. Dickey says everyone around him could smell the cigarette smoke coming out of the bathroom at the time.
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Once the aircraft was safe on the runway, a video shows the man confronted by the flight attendants, as well as police and EMT.
That's when he decided to light up what Dickey says was his second cigarette.
The pilot was heard asking the first 13 rows of passengers to leave the plane so that they could remove the man in question, who allegedly struck one of the other passengers as they attempted to leave.
The unidentified man was eventually handcuffed by police, who placed him on a stretcher where he was heard screaming, "Take it off, it hurts. I want to kill you!" Reported TMZ.
The plane took off for Minneapolis two hours later, according to the outlet.
A representative of American Airlines confirmed to Fox News on Saturday that Flight 2408 had been diverted because of a "disruptive passenger" and that law enforcement met the aircraft before departing. The spokesman thanked the flight crew for taking care of the other passengers during the incident.
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"Hopefully our return trip won't be as eventful," Dickey said of the trip.