Man arrested after being escorted off Canadian North flight to Edmonton

Incident could be 'medically-related,' say RCMP

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Police in Edmonton are continuing to investigate after they say a man refused to follow the directions of flight crew aboard a Canadian North flight from Yellowknife last week, delaying the plane’s landing.

A 25-year-old man was arrested at the Edmonton International Airport Thursday night after allegedly refusing to take his seat before landing, Cpl. Kevin Krebs, a member of the Edmonton RCMP’s airport detachment, told Yellowknifer.

A CBC North reporter who happened to be on the flight recounted the incident to the broadcaster late last week.

The passenger, according to Canadian North spokesperson Kelly Lewis, ‘stood up and left his seat during the final landing approach and refused to listen to the repeated instructions of our crew members to return to his seat and fasten his seat belt.”

The pilot chose to abort the first landing approach. The passenger then “seated himself on the floor,” and the plane was able to land after a “second approach,” stated Lewis.

Crew members followed protocol and asked RCMP to escort the man off the plane once it landed, stated Lewis in an email. The man was met by Mounties immediately after the plane arrived at the gate, according to Lewis, around 7:20 p.m.

The incident caused a 10 minute delay in the plane’s arrival.

The man made no efforts to exit the plane before the landing, and was not restrained by flight crew, added Lewis.

RCMP couldn’t confirm whether or not the man is a Yellowknife or NWT resident.

He has not been charged, and RCMP are continuing to investigate the incident, which may have been “medically-related.”

“(Charges) may be pending down the line, or may not. We’re not sure if that was a medically-related episode or not,” said Krebs.

If the incident is determined to have been related to a medical condition, Krebs said the man likely won’t be charged.

Canadian North’s Lewis added the airline has a “zero tolerance” policy towards disruptive behaviour to “ensure the safety our passengers and crew.”

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As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility to be there - day or night, rain or shine. When I’m not at court gathering stories, I’m in the office, making calls to lawyers, emailing RCMP and tracking down sources. After hours, I rely on the public to let me know what’s happening and where. Entering my second winter in Yellowknife since leaving my hometown of Peterborough, Ont., in October 2017, everyday on this beat continues to be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Got a story? Call me at (867) 766-8288 or shoot me an email at editorial@nnsl.com.

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