July 2, 2009

Passenger shed clothes in mid-flight

A plane traveling from Charlotte, N.C., to Los Angeles made an unexpected stop in Albuquerque when a passenger shed his clothes and refused to cover himself.

Passengers on the US Airways flight Tuesday said the man, identified by authorities as Keith Wright, 50, was sitting between two sleeping women in the back row of the plane when he started taking off his clothing, the Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday.

Matthew McGinnis, who was seated across the aisle from Wright on the plane, said a pair of off-duty Los Angeles police officers who were on the flight used their handcuffs to bind Wright's hand and foot while McGinnis held him down and covered him with a blanket.

I had to wrestle a naked man, and then I had to dress him, McGinnis said.

Aviation authorities said the Albuquerque stop was also influenced by an unrelated medical emergency.

Investigators said Wright had apparently been drinking before he boarded the plane and they are looking into whether a reaction between the alcohol and medication may have contributed to his behavior.

FBI officials in Albuquerque said Wright was charged with interference with a flight crew.