Film producer helped calm man on diverted Denver flight
DENVER — A renowned film producer is saying he helped clam the unruly passenger who caused a JetBlue flight to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport Sunday.
Cassian Elwes, executive producer on the upcoming movie “Lawless” staring Shia LaBeouf, Tweeted Monday that he spoke at length with a man who physically attacked and cursed at fellow passengers on Flight 677, which left New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport bound for the Los Angeles International Airport Sunday.
The producer wrote a lengthy series of Tweets, referring to the man who became disruptive in the middle of the flight as “Hoodie.” That man has now been identified by the FBI as Chicago native Marcus Covington, and he will make his first court appearance Tuesday at 2 p.m.
“Hoodie wants to get up. He walks to the back and stands in the galley for 10 minutes just staring at the metal wall,” Elwes began, referring to Covington. “The stewardesses ignore him.
“He starts ripping up a magazine and licking the paper.” Elwes continued. “Then he starts sticking the magazine pieces to the mini T.V.in front of him. The wife calls the stewardess who comes and tells him to stop. Then he wants to get up again. This time he walks to the front. I feel uneasy and I go back and tell one of the ladies that he’s acting weird. And I’m really not sure that its a good idea that he’s hanging around the front where all the buttons are for the doors.”
Elwes said an off-duty air marshal then sat down next to Covington.
“They exchange a few words,” Elwes continued to Tweet. “I’m right behind and now hoodie starts shouting at the guy f— you many times. Hoodie tries to get up but air marshal blocks him. More f— yous. Hoodie throws his vodka at him but it lands on the couple in front of him.”
Elwes said he offered to talk to Covington, who told the producer he was a Marine going to Los Angeles to work on a commercial.
That conversation continued, according to Elwes, until the plane touched down. At that point, Elwes said Covington punched him in the ribs and thigh.
In addition to the actions he previous described, Elwes Tweeted that Covington groped a pregnant woman who planned to press charges.
JetBlue is still yet to release a statement detailing what diverted the plane, except to say the diversion was due to a “customer issue.”