A Republic Airlines Flight was forced to make an emergency landing after some passengers expressed concern over one person's behavior. However, no injuries were reported.
According to NBC New York, Republic Airlines 4817 safely landed at Queens airport following a security incident.
Unruly passenger in custody for questioning
The passengers reported suspicious behavior after noticing that he was unruly. When one of the flight attendants confronted the passenger, he said he had a device aboard the plane. But after officials swept the plane, they said that it's clear from any potential threat.
All 80 passengers on the flight together with the crew deplaned onto the tarmac. The suspect, on the other hand, was taken into custody for questioning.
Several onlookers shared videos of officers pinning the suspect to the ground. Since a massive crowd of people started to flock to the scene, an officer asked them to move away.
As of late, the suspect's identity is still being kept under wraps, and it is still unclear if he will be fined.
Unruly passenger cases on the rise this year
But in August, CBS News reported that fines for unruly passengers in 2021 already topped $1 million.
Unruly passengers are defined as individuals that assault other passengers and crew members, as well as those that threaten to kill other people while onboard the plane. Those that refuse to wear masks may also be fined.
At the time, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it would request $531,545 in fines against 34 passengers that exhibited suspicious and rude behavior while on the plane.
One passenger was previously fined $45,00 for throwing his carry-on luggage at other passengers, for lying on the aisle and refusing to get up, and for grabbing a flight attendant and putting his head under the crew's skirt. The incident took place on May 24 while onboard a JetBlue flight from New York to Orlando. The incident resulted in the plane making an emergency landing in Virginia.
On May 16, another passenger was fined $42,000 for refusing to wear a mask, threatening another passenger, snorting what appeared to be cocaine, and throwing a playing card at another passenger. Police officers were forced to remove the passenger from the flight after it diverted to Minneapolis on its way to San Francisco.
On Jan. 3, one passenger was fined $30,000 for trying to climb the flight deck after it arrived in New York. The passenger also assaulted two flight attendants and threatened to kill one of them after they refused to open the door.
Stricter penalties, criminal charges may be imposed
Last month, the House Subcommittee on Aviation listened to the testimonies of flight attendants, airline officials, and airport representatives following a spike in unruly passenger cases on flights, according to Spectrum News.
Their testimonies came in the heels of lawmakers deciding whether they should enact harsher penalties such as criminal charges for those who will engage in disruptive behavior while on the plane.
Rep. Eddie B. Johnson, D-Tex, encouraged the Department of Justice to speed up and conduct criminal investigations to help lessen these kinds of incidents.