NEWS

Oliver Minatel, Professional Ottawa Soccer Player, Uninjured After Attack On Flight To Atlanta

04/11/2015 10:36 EDT | Updated 06/11/2015 05:59 EDT
CP
OTTAWA - An Ottawa professional soccer team says one of its players was attacked on an Air Canada flight, but is expected to play tonight.

Graeme Ivory, a spokesperson with the Ottawa Fury FC soccer club, said a passenger reached over his seat, without provocation, and "attempted to strangle one of our players with the cord of his headphones."

The incident occurred on an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Atlanta on Friday about 30 minutes before landing.

The player, forward Oliver Minatel, wasn't injured, Roy said, but was shaken up.

Nearby passengers rushed to help and restrained the man for the rest of the flight.

An Air Canada spokesperson says the flight crew requested that police meet the flight, but that further comment would have to come from authorities in Atlanta.

"We have a zero tolerance policy with respect to unruly behaviour," Teri Udle said in an email.

Authorities boarded the plane after landing in Atlanta and arrested the man.

"The FBI did respond to the Air Canada incident at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport," said Special Agent Stephen Emmett of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an email.

"The passenger, however, was transported for medical/mental evaluation under the direction and co-ordination of the Atlanta Police Department. While there are currently no federal charges pending , the facts of the matter are being relayed to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta, Georgia."

In an unrelated incident, Britain's Daily Mail newspaper reported Saturday that a passenger on an Air Canada flight bound for Toronto from Germany on Friday was not charged after allegedly causing a disturbance.

The Daily Mail said the flight was forced to divert to Shannon Airport in Ireland.

The 87-year-old woman was reportedly restrained by cabin crew and taken into custody when the plane landed.

The Daily Mail reported that Irish police have said the woman was released without charge and was to undergo a fit-to-fly screening to try to continue her journey.

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