A couple of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Posse members helped subdue a combatant airline passenger while soaring toward their Florida vacation Thursday.
Chandler resident Steven Kates, 51, a 12-year posse member, said Southwest Airlines flight 1426 was about halfway to its destination in Orlando, Fla., when he and his brother Joe Kates, 38 and also a posse member, responded to a flight attendant’s pleas for help.
According to an FBI report of the incident, several passengers helped the flight crew subdue Edward Uber, 32, of Mesa, after he began spitting at and cursing a flight attendant for refusing to serve him more alcohol. Kates said he and his brother were two of those passengers.
“We just did what we thought was the right thing to do,” Steven Kates said.
The report states Uber was handcuffed and placed in the plane’s galley while the flight was diverted to Jackson, Miss., where he was arrested by local police and turned over to the FBI.
He has since been charged in federal court with one count of interfering with a flight crew member. He remains in custody until a detention and probable cause hearing,
Frederick T. Brink, special agent in charge of the FBI in Mississippi, said no passengers were injured, but departure from the Jackson airport was delayed for about two hours.
If convicted, Uber faces up to 20 years in prison.