I read about this at Buried Treasure and I love how this recent news story turned out! On a 3 hour flight, an unruly passenger had many in tears with his erratic behavior and eery threats, but, fortunately, 2 men were willing to step up and make sure everyone was safe.
Hayden, a 65-year-old former police commander, had enlisted a gray-haired gentleman sitting next to him to assist. The man turned out to be a former US Marine. “I had looked around the plane for help, and all the younger guys had averted their eyes. When I asked the guy next to me if he was up to it, all he said was, ‘Retired captain. USMC.’ I said, ‘You’ll do,’ ” Hayden recalled. “So, basically, a couple of grandfathers took care of the situation.”
Hayden said the unruly man’s behavior upset some passengers. One told Hayden the man had said, “Your lives are going to change today forever,” as he shouted and refused to take his seat before takeoff and at various times during the nearly three-hour flight. He said that at one point the man lay on his back and was screaming, moaning, and thrashing on the floor.
When the captain announced preparations for landing, the man jumped up shouting, the flight attendant held up the handcuffs, and Hayden and the Marine came bounding down the aisle. Hayden said he and the retired Marine, whose name he never got, received an ovation from fellow passengers, and “some free air miles.”
Hayden’s wife of 42 years, Katie, who was also on the flight, was less impressed. Even as her husband struggled with the agitated passenger, she barely looked up from “The Richest Man in Babylon,” the book she was reading.
“The woman sitting in front of us was very upset and asked me how I could just sit there reading,” Katie Hayden said. “Bob’s been shot at. He’s been stabbed. He’s taken knives away. He knows how to handle those situations. I figured he would go up there and step on somebody’s neck, and that would be the end of it. I knew how that situation would end. I didn’t know how the book would end.”
She knew her husband was a hero to her, and of course, was perfectly confident that he would be a hero to everyone that day. I do hope she gave him a proper hero’s welcome when they got home, though.