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EasyJet passenger dragged off plane by police after locking himself in toilets

Helen Coffey

A man was forcibly removed from a plane after locking himself in the toilets just before landing and refusing to come out.

Kieran Crowley, 44, was arrested on arrival when the easyJet flight from Faro, Portugal landed at Gatwick airport.

By the time cabin crew managed to get him back in his seat, the landing had to be aborted as they had failed to secure the cabin, adding 40 minutes to the journey by the time the aircraft had landed, taxied and waited on the runway for police to arrive.

Crowley was quiet for most of the flight, according to fellow passengers, only becoming disruptive when the fasten seatbelt signs came on.

The Londoner demanded to go to the toilet and pushed past crew to lock himself in the cubicle for 10 minutes.

Flight attendants knocked on the door every few minutes or so and asked him to take his seat, before finally unlocking the door, at which point onlookers report he became angry.

Fellow passenger Tom Porter, 24, told the Daily Mail that Crowley was this “angry, wild animal, and didn’t want taming” and said he started swearing at anyone who looked at him, telling them to die.

“The whole episode was shocking, and not what you want to see,” added Porter.

When Crowley heard the pilot announce that police were on their way, he reportedly tried to lock himself in the toilet again, but was blocked by a member of cabin crew.

Video of the incident shows police officers having to restrain Crowley and drag him off the aircraft after he refused to comply. Applause and cheers from passengers can be heard as he was removed.

Crowley was charged with using abusive and threatening language and behaviour that was “racially aggravated”, according to Sussex police.

He was also charged with “two counts of assault on an emergency worker (two police officers) and assault on an emergency worker (a police officer) in the exercise of their duty.”

EasyJet confirmed the incident took place onboard flight EZY8926 and said in a statement: “While such incidents are rare we take them very seriously, do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour onboard and always push for prosecution.

“EasyJet’s cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.

“Safety is always easyJet’s highest priority.”

Crowley has been released on bail and is due to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 19 June.