A drunk passenger who tried to play his "white card."
Perhaps the drunk passenger on a Frontier Airlines flight from St. Louis to Denver who raved to the black woman in the seat next to him about playing his "white card" knew what he was talking about: The man has yet to face any charges for the incident, despite completely losing his shit and ultimately being removed from the terminal on a gurney.
That's even though the incident, which took place more than four months ago, was captured on video by multiple passengers, including his unlucky seatmate, Shemekia Cannon.
As we reported Monday, incident reports obtained from Denver International Airport show calls for Denver officers and EMS to address a "physical disturbance" on the flight, which landed in Denver after 7 p.m. on June 10. Video shows the man being wheeled off the flight.
A separate "COMM Log" indicated that the drunk man was transported by ambulance with a police escort. The log also noted, "[T]here will be Federal charges pending against the party who caused the disturbance."
In the mean time, another passenger has confirmed Cannon's disturbing account of the man's behavior.
Marrissa Buckler, who was seated in the row directly in front of Cannon and the drunk man, backed up Cannon's description of events in an email. She writes that the man entered the flight "stumbling drunk." Still, Buckler says, the flight crew served alcohol to him and a female friend, who was also drunk, just fifteen minutes into the flight.
"He had gotten in trouble by the airlines for drinking originally, not for how he was treating his fellow citizen," Buckler writes in an email. She described him as "vulgar and completely inappropriate," which aligns with Cannon's version of events. (Cannon told RFTthat he was flirting with the female friend about his penis size and rubbing his leg and groin area.)
Buckler also says she heard the man tell Cannon to "go back to her food stamps."
That was around the time a flight attendant informed the man that he was cut off, prompting him to explode at Cannon and shouting about "playing my fucking white card." After that, Cannon was finally moved to a new seat.
Buckler provided us with a video she shot after the plane landed. The clip features the drunk man in a heated argument with two cops. In the video, the man claims he's a veteran and swears at the cops repeatedly, at one point descending into a full-blown rant that veers from his military experience to the fact that he's wearing a suit and "got shit to do."
"Why don't you go talk to my lawyer? Why don't you talk to that sumbitch," he slurs at one point. "Drag me off. Fucking drag me off so I can sue the shit out of you."
After enduring the man's ranting for about five minutes, the cops made the decision to clear all the passengers sitting in rows in front of him, which included Buckler. She could overhear the man continuing to argue with the cops as she departed the flight.
She says the argument continued on the jet bridge connecting the plane to the airport. It was close enough to the terminal that she claims she could hear the police subduing the man, though she didn't witness the confrontation. She provided another angle of the man being wheeled out on a gurney.
Buckler, for one, is horrified that attendants did nothing to protect Cannon as her drunken seatmate subjected her to harassment and racist language. She notes, as did Cannon, that when flight attendants finally intervened, they asked Cannon to squeeze past the man to get out of her seat rather than moving him.
"It was completely inappropriate and no one really did anything to ensure Shamekia was safe. SHE was removed from the aisle first.... which is completely unacceptable considering he had already gotten in her face [and] attempted to fight her, and as she stated, she was in the window seat so why move her? Not the violent man in the middle," Buckler writes. "Not only that but when he was trying to get up to stand over her, he hit the man beside me and pulled my hair."
As Cannon told us previously, she's come to a sobering conclusion: "He does have this invisible white card. They’re protecting this man to the point where we don’t even know his name. He’s alive, living his life, thinking this is all over. That's how I know that card exists."
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com