An off-duty police officer is being called a hero after an intoxicated passenger punched a male flight attendant in the face.
Officer Anibal Mercado, 39, of the New York Police Dept. was able to subdue and handcuff a man, Antonio Ynoa, 22, after he punched the flight attendant in the face numerous times for asking him to stop drinking the duty-free rum he had brought from the Dominican Republic, where the plane had departed from.
The JetBlue aircraft had plastic handcuffs on board and Officer Mercado used them to restrain the man.
After identifying himself as a police officer, the 18-year NYPD veteran said Ynoa ‘struck me a few times in the face as I was trying to restrain him.’
The plane landed at its destination, JFK airport, and Ynoa was met by FBI agents and was charged with assault and interfering with a flight crew. He has two previous closed arrests.
He said the arrest was “normal routine” except for the fact that it was made at 30,000.