Passengers on a flight from Hong Kong to Newark on Monday restrained a paranoid man after he erupted into an terrifying rant about National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, the CIA and people who were allegedly trying to poison him.
“My name is Daniel Morgan Perry, born March 12, 1978,” the man bellowed repeatedly as a handful of passengers and flight attendants aboard United Airlines Flight 116 struggled to restrain him.
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Jacques Roizen, 44, a restructuring consultant from New York who tackled the crazed passenger in the aisle, said the man screamed that his life was in danger and claimed he’d been poisoned.
“He asked the plane be diverted to Canada. He was clearly not stable,” Roizen told The Daily News. “He said he was being shot with darts during the flight. He said he was the one poisoned.”
Witnesses said the outburst began about nine or 10 hours into the 15 hour flight when the man began yelling about NSA leaker Edward Snowden and other people he claimed were CIA agents.
“At one point he cried because he scared children,” Roizen added. “We were talking to him about Father’s Day to calm him down.”
Federal agents met the airliner as it landed at Newark around 2 p.m. and escorted the disturbed man off, passengers aboard the Boeing 777 said. The 228 other flyers were let off about an hour later, United said.
The man’s name hasn’t been released, but fliers described him as an American in his 30s.
Cellphone photos broadcast on CNN showed a man with light brown hair and glasses in a blue North Face jacket.
The jacket’s hood covered his face as two officers walked him down a staircase from the plane.
Passengers said the man yelled about Edward Snowden, the former NSA worker who leaked secrets about the agency earlier this month.
The midair scare began about nine or ten hours into the 15-hour flight when the man got out of his seat and began yelling about Snowden, the NSA secret-spiller, and others he claimed were undercover CIA agents.
When he reached for something in his pocket, passengers and flight attendants jumped him, Roizen said.
After wrestling him to the floor, the brave flyers and crew members handcuffed him with plastic ties.
Peter Jones said the man claimed someone wanted him dead and repeated his name and Social Security number over and over.
After the man was handcuffed, he yelled his name, Daniel Morgan Perry, and his social security number several times, flyers said.
“He said he last worked for the CIA Abudabi. He said he was detained by the CIA and was being transferred and his life was in danger,” Jones, of Washington, D.C., told The News.
“He said he was poisoned and that he was going to die. He was going to disappear,” Jones said. “He didn’t threaten anyone. He [said he]was being taken to a safehouse, never to be seen again.”
Another passenger, Paul Shea, said flight attendants had been keeping an eye on the man before the outburst because he was pacing in the aisles.
“He said his wife was a Chinese spy,” Shea said.
In cellphone audio recorded by a passenger and broadcast on CNN, the man screams, “I’m dead! I’m dead!” more than a dozen times.
The man was taken to a hospital for an evaluation, an FBI spokesman told CNN.
United said crew members followed the correct procedures to get the situation under control.