Published January 4, 2013
A drunken man who attacked other passengers on an Icelandair flight to New York was restrained with tape, photographed, and then arrested upon arrival.
According to five separate articles posted about the story on Vísir, a man allegedly drank an entire bottle of the licorice spirit Topaz before boarding the flight yesterday. He is reported to have groped a woman seated next to him, screamed that the plane was going to crash, and spat on other passengers.
The man was reportedly overpowered by other passengers, and then restrained in his seat, using tape to bind him. Another passenger took a photo of the suspect, which was subsequently posted to Facebook and then Reddit, from where it spread quickly across the internet.
Guðjón Arngrímsson, a spokesperson for Icelandair, told reporters the suspect was well attended by crew during the flight. Upon his arrival in New York, he was promptly arrested by waiting police, and could be facing prison time for his behaviour on the plane.
The articles in Iceland speculate on the nationality of the suspect. Guðjón would not disclose the suspect’s nationality, but at least one witness believes he is Icelandic. The cause for the speculation is related to the word used in the article to describe the suspect, flugdólgur; literally “air hooligan”. This word was invented by the Icelandic media in the late 90s to describe the behaviour of drunken airplane passengers, many of them Icelanders, who have been arrested for disorderly conduct in flight.