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Flight diverted to MSP Airport after in-flight passenger disturbance

The JetBlue flight from New York to San Francisco was forced to land when a man began acting "aggressively" toward crew members and passengers.

MINNEAPOLIS — A New York man is facing drug charges and other potential offenses after allegedly causing a disturbance on a flight that was then forced to divert to MSP International Airport.

A spokesperson for JetBlue confirms that flight 915 was headed from New York to San Francisco Sunday afternoon when "a customer on board began acting erratically and aggressively toward crew members and other customers."

The pilots decided the situation was serious enough to divert the flight and land at MSP, where airport police met the plane at the gate around 5:30 p.m. and arrested a 42-year-old man from Mechanicville, New York. He was taken to the Hennepin County Jail, and is being held on pending drug possession charges. 

Passengers told a reporter from KGO television in San Francisco that the man had a bag full of a white substance, touched at least one woman, made inappropriate comments to numerous female passengers, yelled racist slurs toward fellow passengers upon boarding and refused to wear a mask.  

"Safety is JetBlue’s first priority, and we appreciate our crewmembers’ response and our customers’ patience during this incident," said JetBlue corporate communications manager Derek Dombrowski in a statement to KARE 11. 

Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan said felony drug possession charges are being sought at the county level, and added that the FBI may file federal charges against the man separately. The Hennepin County Attorney's office has until noon Tuesday to file official charges. 

After the disruptive passenger was removed, the flight continued on to San Francisco without incident.