A 22-year-old professional soccer player from Canada, Oliver Minatel, was attacked on an Atlanta-bound flight by a man and his headphone cords. The Ottawa Fury striker was sleeping on the Air Canada flight when a passenger wrapped his headphone cords around his neck and attempted to strangle him. The man claims that the “voices in his head” told him to do it.
The Daily Mail reports that Oliver Minatel was on an Air Canada flight with his teammates headed to a game against the Atlanta Silverbacks when a “crazed man” jumped on him while he was sleeping. The man proceeded to wrap his headphone cords around the player’s neck in an attempt to strangle him. The player, with the help of other passengers on the plane, was able to subdue the man until the flight crew could contain the man. Passengers say the man was not restrained but was told to stay in his seat for the rest of the flight with his seat belt on. Upon landing, the passenger was taken for a mental evaluation.
Minatel says he initially thought the man was a deranged soccer fan. However, he later learned that the man attacked him because “voices in his head” told him to do so. The man feared that if he did not attack Minatel that the soccer team would would kill him.
Fortunately, Minatel was shaken up by the incident but is doing well and was able to play at the game in Atlanta. The Ottawa Fury Coach, Marc Dos Santos, says that the choking attack took place just about 10 minutes before landing and that the guys on the team are “in shock” but that everything is now “back in order.”
“Somebody tried to choke one of our players, out of the blue, and it wasn’t a fun moment … and I think some of our guys are in shock, but now everything’s back to order.”