Veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins has carved out a successful big league career subduing opposing lineups and occasionally saving games, but perhaps his most important relief appearance came on a recent international flight to Santiago, Chile.
According to ESPN New York, the former Mets right-hander and current free agent was heading to the South American country on a dove hunting vacation when a pair of passengers on his American Airlines flight became unruly and had to be subdued. Hawkins was reportedly among those who immediately jumped into action and helped ensure the safety of the other passengers. The flight was then forced to make an emergency landing in Peru, where both passengers were escorted off the plane by local law enforcement.
Here's more from American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller:
"They were noncompliant, unruly, which happens on occasion," Miller said about the passenger removed from the flight. "And when it does, sometimes we'll divert a flight. For the safety of everybody on board, it's much easier just to get that individual off the plane. And that's what we did and turned it over to local law enforcement, and then the flight continued on."
That's a pretty scary scenario, especially when you hear it's more than one passenger causing the disturbance. It sounds as though Hawkins' instincts took over, and we're thankful that Hawkins and the other passengers are no worse for the wear in the aftermath.
Rodney Carter, LaTroy Hawkins and Leonard Whittenberg helped to restrain the unruly passenger. pic.twitter.com/XX9TXDssnv
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) October 29, 2013
Hawkins also posted a photo on Instagram with a caption that read: "These 2 studs had to subdue a guy on our flight from DFW to Santiago Chile.. Escorted him of the plane after we made a emergency landing in Peru to drop him off. Long nite with a crazy Passenger... #AA"
Hats off to Hawkins, Carter and Whittenberg for playing a big role in diffusing a dangerous situation.
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