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No charges for passenger in LaGuardia emergency landing

October 10, 2021 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — An airline passenger whose behavior aboard a flight Saturday prompted an emergency landing and evacuation at LaGuardia Airport was released with no charges filed.

According to a spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, an investigation by the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Port Authority concluded no criminal charges were warranted.

A passenger reported the man acting erratically on the Republic Airways flight from Indianapolis to LaGuardia, which prompted the pilot to declare an emergency landing. The plane halted on the taxiway short of its gate at approximately 3 p.m., and video showed the man spread-eagled on the tarmac with emergency personnel kneeling beside him. He was later taken into custody.

Passengers told WABC-TV that confusion reigned as the plane landed hard on the runway, and described a frantic scene with passengers shouting and pushing as the crew launched the emergency exit slide.

In a statement Saturday, Republic Airways said the crew conducted a precautionary emergency evacuation and that there were no injuries to any of the 78 passengers and four crew members aboard the flight. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said nothing harmful was on the aircraft.