St. Croix Man Refused Beer On Flight … So He Screamed, Fought and Spit Blood, FBI Says
MIAMI — A St. Croix man on an American Airlines flight to Miami was arrested after he allegedly launched into a midair, profanity-laced tirade and traded punches with others on the plane who were trying to restrain him.
The whole incident was caught on tape after passenger Jason Felix began yelling at flight attendants over their refusal to sell him more alcohol, according to charging papers.
An off-duty police officer on the plane, dressed in a blue plaid shirt in the video, stepped in to try to restrain the unruly passenger, but Felix only became more enraged. Finally, another passenger talked down Felix and he calmed down.
“You need to please sit down, I’m not bringing you more beers,” a flight attendant is heard saying in the video. “Please sit down. We will be there in an hour. Why do you have this attitude? You had a couple of beers.”
The flight from St. Croix landed in Miami on Wednesday, where Felix was taken off the plane by responding officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department. He was then taken into custody by the FBI, since the incident took place on a plane.
Felix is facing federal charges of interfering with a flight crew.
Felix told the off-duty police officer that he was going to kill him and spit blood on him, an FBI agent said in the complaint obtained by Miami ABC affiliate WPLG. The complaint also says the flight attendant in the video tried to get Felix to leave the plane’s bathroom, but was called a homophobic slur.
A flight attendant at the back of the plane could hear Felix rummaging around, opening and closing cabinets. When the attendant opened the door to check, Felix slammed it back shut and relocked it.
The St. Croix native emerged some time later, in his “Unity” t-shirt, and cursed out the flight attendant as he made his way back to seat 17-B.
Another man had the aisle seat. He had been getting up each time Felix got up or sat down, listening each time Felix ordered a beer from the same attendant he insulted with slurs.
The man is an officer in the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD), he would later tell the FBI. He said he knew Felix there — or at least knew of him by reputation, which was apparently not good, and whatever had agitated him in the bathroom did not bode well for the rest of the flight.
Flight 1293 made good time from St. Croix. It had been in the air about an hour when Felix pushed the button to summon the attendant and order another beer — and the attendant refused.
This time, the FBI agent wrote, Felix did not wait for his seatmate to let him out but climbed over the man’s lap, swearing at the flight attendant and chasing after him to demand service.
“You need to please sit down. You’re not drinking any more beers,” the attendant said, as seen in another passenger’s video. “We’ll be there in an hour!”
But Felix kept arguing, waving his arms in the attendant’s face. His neighbor was now standing, too, frowning at the back of Felix’s head.
“Are you my bartender?” Felix asked.
“Yes, I’m your bartender,” the attendant replied, and began to walk away.
He made it a few steps, the FBI agent wrote, then turned around to see Felix entangled with his seatmate. “They appeared to be hitting each other.”
The man later reported that Felix spit blood at him, and tore off his plaid shirt. In video recorded by Bill Bolduc, from across the aisle, the two men are wrapped around each other while two other passengers attempt to pull them apart.
The passengers eventually push Felix back down into his seat, alternatively wrestling with him and attempting to soothe him while the pilot’s voice comes over the speakers, asking everyone to fasten their seat belts.
“I’m gonna to kill you. I know you are a cop,” Felix screamed at the man from the aisle seat, according to the FBI affidavit. He was so enraged that a flight attendant asked the officer to move to another seat, so the men couldn’t see each other.
Even so, videos show Felix kept screaming insults.
“Chill out,” said one of two passengers who had gotten up to hold him still, his arms wrapped around Felix in a bear hug.
“No, I don’t want to chill,” Felix said, his arms waving toward his former seatmate, his curses falling over each other. “That mother . . . run, see! . . . You run, you run!”
At some point, a flight attendant handed one of the passengers a pair of wrist restraints, though in the end they did not prove necessary. The flight crew and passengers managed to get him seated for the rest of the flight.
Bolduc, the video maker, told WSVN that Felix remained agitated for the remainder of the flight, though at least there were no more fights. He tried to order alcohol again, according to the FBI, and when served water, gave it to another passenger.
In Bolduc’s final video, after landing in Miami, Felix has put on sunglasses and put back a hat he seemed to lose in the fight.
At least four police officers boarded the plane. Felix pulled out his ear buds, seemed to argue with them for a few seconds, but eventually let them escort him off the plane.
American Airlines said in a statement they were proud of the way their employees handled the situation.
“On Wednesday, May 23, American Airlines requested law enforcement meet flight 1293 from St. Croix to Miami due to a disruptive passenger. We thank our crew for taking care of our customers and are proud of the work they do every single day. Please contact law enforcement for additional details.”
Felix was known around St. Croix for being recently paroled from Golden Grove prison and hanging out at the Eastway Service Station (across from Tide Village) and allegedly openly smoking and selling marijuana.
Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School is a about two hundred yards west from where the convicted felon operated.
Shocking footage taken by a fellow passenger Bill Bolduc shows Felix repeatedly punching another man who asked him to calm down after a flight attendant refused to give him another beer.
Felix stood in the aisle banging on overhead bins and ranting at other travelers when he demanded another drink.
In the clip, Felix, who is dressed in a mostly black t-shirt with the word “Unity” written across the front, a black hat and a white doo-rag, can be seen facing off with a flight attendant.
The flight attendant tells the man, “Please sit down. I’m not bringing you any more beers. We’ll be there in an hour.”
Felix is standing in the aisle at this point.
Another clip shows the flight attendant and the man, face to face in the aisle again.
“No more beers,” he tells the passenger.
“You my bartender?” Felix asks.
“Yes, I’m your bartender,” he says.
A man in a blue plaid shirt can be seen standing behind Felix, appearing to wait for the opportunity to pass him.
The man in the black tee shirt then leans in and claps his hands at the flight attendant, who turns his body away from the passenger while saying, “That’s it, I’m done.”
When we see more footage, we now see the man in plaid punching Felix.
A woman in a grey top can then be seen trying to pull the man in plaid back, while a third man in a white shirt is visible behind the man who was demanding alcohol, holding his arms behind his back.
The flight attendant comes back into view and calmly approaches the fray, prying the men apart and eventually telling the man in plaid, “go up there,” and gesturing up the aisle.
After the fight breaks up, the captain comes over the speaker and says, “The seat belt light is on. Please return immediately to your seats.”
The camera then returned again to show four Miami-Dade County police officers boarding the plane and escorting Felix off the aircraft.
“We just wanna talk to you outside before we disembark the whole aircraft,” one officer says to Felix.
At first, Felix tries to get the officer to go in front of him, but eventually agrees to deplane.
He was then escorted off the flight, with two officers in front of him and two behind him.
Felix was arrested and ordered to be held until a detention hearing on Tuesday, facing a charge of interfering with flight crew that carries up to a 20-year sentence.
His public defenders did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bolduc said the entire situation lasted for more than an hour, and several passengers were forced to try to calm Felix throughout the scenario.
He praised the way American Airlines employees on the flight handled the disruptive, violent man.
‘The flight attendants were very professional and handled a bad situation the best they could.
“It could have quickly escalated even further if the [flight attendants] didn’t maintain their composure,” Bolduc wrote in a comment on his YouTube page. “At one point, there was discussion of diverting the aircraft and landing before Miami but we made it there without additional people being hurt.”