James Kirby and Damien Jake Murphy were hauled in after scuffling with flight staff (Picture: AP/Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office)
A pair of British passengers who disrupted a flight from Mexico to England causing it to make an abrupt landing in the US have been charged.
The unruly duo alongside a third man was aboard a TUI Airways flight when it was diverted Monday night to Bangor International Airport in Maine.
According to an FBI affidavit filed in the US District Court in Bangor, Anthony Joseph James Kirby and Damien Jake Murphy, both 36, scuffled with staff.
‘During the flight, the men became loud and disruptive,’ the affidavit said.
‘While the aircraft was over Florida, Kirby, Murphy and the third man made racist comments to the crew and passengers while filming their interactions with the crew and the other passengers with their cameras.
‘The behaviour caused the flight crew to change seats.’
Flight attendants refused to serve the trio alcohol, but one rider grabbed a bottle from his carry-on luggage which all three men drank from.
The TUI flight had to be grounded after the men hurled booze-fuelled booze at staff, the FBI claimed (Picture: Shutterstock / Fasttailwind)
As the craft flew from Cancun to Manchester, the captain repeatedly warned the men over the public address system that he would land the craft if they didn’t comply with flight staff.
Murphy allegedly shoved a flight attendant who tried to de-escalate the situation while the plane was above US airspace.
Once the plane landed in Bangor in Penobscot County at around 10pm, Kirby reportedly launched at a passenger three seats in front of him.
The flight had 328 passengers on board.
Video footage filmed by a passenger showed six armed officers boarding the flight before escorting two men out, according to the MailOnline.
One verbally scuffles with a passenger as they shout ‘get off’. One of the men responds: ‘F****t.’
A third man was also removed from the plane but he was not changed. The FBI affidavit did not identify him.
Kirby and Murphy, both from Manchester, were removed from the plane and arrested.
They were both charged with one count of interference with flight crew and assault. The charges came under a special aircraft jurisdiction in the US.
Both men have been detained without bail after an initial court appearance on Tuesday on federal charges.
The US addotnrey’s office for Main, which is prosecuting the case, asked both men to be held without bail until their cases are resolved because they live outside of the US.
If convicted, the men could face up to two decades in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 (£207,000) on the interference with a flight crew charge.
For assault, they could face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 (£82,000).
Kirby’s attorney said yesterday he is collecting more information on the incident.
Metro.co.uk contacted TUI AG and the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
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