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Man restrained after becoming unruly on Iceland to New York flight

By Brittany Brady, CNN
updated 8:24 AM EST, Mon January 7, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A male passenger was yelling profanities and spitting at fellow passengers
  • A photo shows a man restrained in his seat with duct tape and zip ties
  • Such restraints are standard protocol, Iceland Air says

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

New York (CNN) -- Get too far out of line aboard an international flight and you could be restrained in your seat with zip ties and duct tape.

That appears to be what happened to a disruptive male passenger aboard a flight from Iceland to New York on Thursday after a photo surfaced on social media showing a man bound to his seat.

Iceland Air said it could not confirm the validity of the photo, but said there was "an incident with a passenger on the flight from Reykjavik to New York" in which the passenger was restrained.

The man was "hitting, screaming and spitting at other passengers, while yelling profanities," according to airline spokesman Michael Raucheisen, who said the passenger's "behavior was considered to be unruly and threatening."

"To ensure the safety of those on board, he was restrained by passengers and crew and was monitored for his own safety for the duration of the flight," he added.

The man was arrested after the flight arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, the airline said. The Port Authority said the man was not charged and was taken to a local hospital.

Raucheisen said duct tape and plastic zip ties are considered standard protocol when restraining a passenger.

"This equipment is on board all our flights in case an incident like this arises," he said.

A photo posted on Facebook by a fellow passenger showed a man tied to the back of his seat with his legs tied together, and tape on his ankles and over his mouth.

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