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A Guy Got Dragged Off an Overbooked Flight for Refusing to Give Up His Seat

An officer reportedly grabbed the man by his collar and throttled him against an armrest before dragging him down the aisle – and a few passengers caught the whole thing on camera.

by Drew Schwartz
10 April 2017, 4:53pm

Screenshot via Twitter user Jayse D. Anspach

On Sunday, law enforcement officers pulled a man from his seat and forcibly dragged him down the aisle of the plane after he refused to give up his seat on an overbooked United Airlines flight, the Courier-Journal reports.

United had overbooked the Sunday flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, and asked four people to give up their seats so it could get a few employees to Louisville for a Monday flight, according to passenger Audra D. Bridges. The airline eventually offered people $800 to give up their seats, but when no one volunteered, it had to select four passengers at random.

That's when one man who was selected—a doctor, according to Bridges—wouldn't move. He told a manager for United he had patients to see Monday morning and needed to stay on the flight. Two law enforcement officers tried to coax him off the plane, but the man refused and said he would call his lawyer. A third officer then came onboard and reportedly grabbed the man by his collar, throttled him against an armrest, and dragged him down the aisle on his back.

Passenger Jayse D. Anspach caught the whole thing on video, and it's a disturbing scene. As the man screams out in pain, several people onboard beg the security officers to stop what they're doing.

"No, this is wrong," one woman screams. "Oh my God, look at what you did to him!"

The United flight eventually took off after a two-hour delay, and it's not clear what the man's condition is now or if he made it back in time to Louisville. The airline released a statement about the incident but put the blame on the officers for reportedly roughing him up.

"Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked," United wrote in a statement. "After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities."

Footage of the incident spread like wildfire on social media, and, for a number of folks, no apology could absolve the airline from what went down on flight 3411.

Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.