A Chicago-Portland flight on United Airlines Monday came “seconds away” from being diverted to Denver when a man on board became belligerent and refused to stop harassing other passengers and the flight crew — until he passed out. Jared McKay, 29, appeared in court Tuesday to face a the music for his crass behavior on board the flight, charged with on count of interfering with a flight crew.
The incident was the second time in a week that an obnoxious jerk caused an uncomfortable scene on a flight that landed at Portland’s PDX airport. On March 4, Lemar Sheron Rogers boarded a Southwest Airlines flight, demanded a first class seat on a plane with no first class section, shouted at flight attendants insisting they bring him three glasses of wine, swore at passengers and threw up gang signs.
This week’s jerk commenced his belligerent behavior soon after boarding the Chicago-Portland flight. After demanding four servings of Jack Daniels whiskey, he refused to sit in his seat and spilled water on himself then blamed it on a “terrorist.”
Flight attendants served him two Jack Daniels then cut off his alcohol supply, which only made him more obnoxious.
He then smoked a cigarette in one of the plane’s lavatories, a violation of federal law.
In court documents, a flight attendant on the Chicago-Portland flight described McKay’s grotesque behavior toward her.
“As I served him, he grabbed my hand and said, ‘I would like to keep you all night,'” she said in an affidavit. But that was not the end of McKay’s obnoxiousness.
When the flight attendant next attempted to wait on him, he told her, “I love you. Let me prove it to you. I’ll make this guy next to me move. Sit next to me and I’ll show you.”
The pilot locked the door to the cockpit and later, flight crew members told an FBI agent that they were worried McKay was on the verge of becoming violent toward them.
The pilot came “seconds away” from making an emergency landing in Denver, but before he made that decision, McKay sat down in his seat and slipped into unconsciousness, allowing the Chicago-Portland flight to make it safely to its destination.
That wasn’t the end of the journey for Jared McKay, however. Upon arriving in Portland, he was taken into custody and questioned by Port of Portland police. He flatly denied arguing with or yelling at flight attendants and said he got out of his seat only to ask them for napkins to clean up spilled water.
According to court documents, the Chicago-Portland passenger expressed disbelief that he was in trouble for his behavior, saying, “It’s all [expletive] [expletive]. Habib the terrorist dumped a drink on me and then they act like I’m the [expletive]? [Expletive] that.”
McKay had earlier flown from Pittsburgh to Chicago before getting on the flight to Portland.