Air Canada plane diverted after passenger tries to open door

Witnesses allege a Canadian man attempted to open the rear cabin door during an Air Canada flight from Jamaica to Toronto Tuesday night.

The Toronto-bound flight from Jamaica was diverted to Orlando International Airport and the Canadian man, later identified as Brandon Courneyea, arrested following a almost 45-minute ordeal aboard the flight, according to a federal criminal complaint.

The FBI was reportedly contacted by crew members about 7:30 after Courneyea allegedly yelled at a few passengers for looking at him.

Court documents show Brandon Michael Courneyea was arrested on Monday after his flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica, to Toronto had to be diverted because of a disturbance on board. Courneyea then attacked flight attendants with pot of coffee and tried to open the rear cabin door. He was then finally restrained by crew members and fellow passengers.

As Courneyea grabbed a second pot of coffee, attendants and other passengers took the situation into their own hands by restraining the man and then securing his arms and legs to a seat.

Crew members contacted authorities prior to landing in Orlando, where Federal Bureau of Investigation agents took Courneyea into custody.

He is being charged with Interference with flight crew members and attendants, a federal crime. Among those who attempted to calm him was Scarborough Councillor Michael Thomson, on his way home with his family from a vacation. Thompson explained. "At that point I sat with him and we were talking and things were going okay for a little while and then he sort of reacted and said 'I don't want you to sit here anymore ..."

"I had a particular encounter with a hot coffee pot that he was threatening to throw on me", he said.

Global Affairs Canada did not immediately respond to request for comment.

  • Zachary Reyes