CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago man was repeatedly shocked with a stun gun and arrested on board an American Airlines flight in Miami, after he allegedly touched another passenger inappropriately, and then refused to leave the plane.
According to an arrest report from the Miami-Dade Police Department, four officers were called to Gate D43 at Miami International Airport around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, after an American Airlines crew reported a fight on board flight 2446 to Chicago.
Police said an airline manager reported 28-year-old Jacob Garcia, of Chicago, had touched a female passenger without her permission, and when he was asked to move to another seat, he began screaming at the woman and her boyfriend. As the flight crew was deboarding the plane, a fight broke out between Garcia and the other passengers.
When police arrived, they asked Garcia to leave the plane, but he refused, according to the arrest report.
Other passengers recorded video as officers tried to remove Garcia from the plane. Police said Garcia resisted as officers tried to handcuff him, prompting one of the officers to repeatedly use a stun gun to subdue him. However, due to his clothing, the stun gun was ineffective.
Police said the officer deployed his stun gun 10 times, for a total of 50 seconds.
In videos of the incident, Garcia can be heard asking police why they are removing him from the plane before the officer used his stun gun.
“You just assaulted a lady for one,” another passenger said in one of the videos. “You’re a racist, for two.”
Police said, as officers were trying to remove Garcia from the plane after handcuffing him, he wedged his legs and body in his seat, and locked his feet around the legs of seats on the plane. Eventually, after repeatedly refusing to cooperate, Garcia stood up and walked off the plane.
However, after leaving the plane, Garcia continued to shout at police and other passengers. When police brought in a golf cart to take him outside, Garcia allegedly slumped to the ground to impede the officers.
When one officer tried to pick him up, Garcia allegedly grabbed the officer’s handgun. Eventually, officers forced him onto the golf cart, and drove him out to a police vehicle.
Several passengers could be heard cheering as the golf cart drove away from the gate.
Police said, once inside, Garcia kicked the rear driver’s side window, knocking it out of alignment.
Phyllis Clark, Garcia’s former legal guardian, has raised him since his mother died when he was 12. She said the videos of him are hard to watch.
“I was shocked. It wasn’t reality to me, because that’s not Jacob. That’s not what he would be like,” she said. “He’s not that type of person. He’s very giving, very loving. You know, he loves animals. He loves people.”
Clark said Garcia is in veterinary school, and recently completed his latest quarter with straight As. She said she’s concerned a potentially promising career now is in jeopardy.
“I mean, he’s a vet, or in training to be a vet, and that’s been his lifelong dream,” she said.
Garcia, of the Portage Park neighborhood in Chicago, has been charged with one count each of battery, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, depriving an officer of a firearm, and criminal mischief.
Garcia was being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami. Court information was not immediately available.
The airline said it was cooperating with the police investigation. The flight departed Miami about an hour late, and arrived in Chicago at 12:30 a.m.