Prosecutors say the man arrested when a JetBlue plane was diverted to Denver on Sunday night groped a woman, told a flight attendant to get away from him and was seen taking a number of unidentified pills.
Marcus Covington was arrested on suspicion of interference with a flight crew when the plane landed at Denver International Airport Monday morning, said John Walsh, U.S. attorney for the district of Colorado.
Covington was intoxicated and making some of his fellow passengers nervous because he was walking up to their seats and saying things to them that did not make sense, Walsh said.
At one point, passengers seated next to Covington asked to be reseated.
When Covington was waiting to use a lavatory, he groped a 27-year-old pregnant women, Walsh said.
The woman pushed him away then stood behind a flight attendant. The flight attendant asked Covington to stay seated because he was making other passengers uncomfortable, Walsh said. Covington allegedly told the flight attendant to get away from him, prosecutors said.
"As a result of his assaultive and intimidating behavior, an FBI special agent, who was traveling on the flight as a passenger, was asked by flight crew to assist in dealing with Covington," Walsh said.
That's when the plane's captain decided to divert the New York to Los Angeles flight to DIA.
While seated, the agent noticed Covington taking a number of unidentifiable pills, prosecutors said.
A passenger used a cellphone to record video of Covington being taken off the plane in handcuffs.
While Denver Police Department officers were attempting to get Covington to sit in a chair, he kicked at and spit on them while threatening to kill them, prosecutors said.
Film producer Cassian Elwes was onboard the plane and was seated next to Covington. After he landed, Elwes tweeted a dramatic account of what happened.
Calling the arrested man, Hoodie, Elwes tweeted:
"Hoodie wants to get up. He walks to the back and stands in the galley for 10 mins just staring at the metal wall."
"[Hoodie] starts ripping up a magazine and licking the paper... Then he starts sticking the magazine pieces to the mini TV in front of him."
"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."
If convicted Covington could face up to 20 years in prison for interfering with a flight crew.
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