ATLANTA - A pair of Delta passengers are being hailed as heroes after witnesses said two men helped restrain a person on the flight that turned violent and threatened to "take the plane down."
In a statement to FOX 5, the airline company said it appreciated the people who helped intervene. Witnesses said a man on board Flight 1249 from Portland, Maine to Atlanta started to become unruly and dangerous.
"I could hear a lot of screaming in the back. One of the passengers was punching the [overhead seat] lights," said James Tennell, who was flying with Ashley Decker. "Passengers were telling me he was wanting to take the plane down," he said.
"He was trying to punch them, punch the windows," Decker said. "It was kind of scary. 9/11 immediately went into my head," she said.
Tennell, from Forsyth County, tells FOX 5 he once worked as a former corrections officer. He said by instinct, he jumped out of his seat and ran to the back of the plane where the unruly passenger locked himself in the bathroom.
"Somebody had to do something," Tennell said.
Another man, who identified himself as working for the Coast Guard, also ran to help.
After Tennell and the other man identified themselves to flight attendants as having worked in law enforcement, he said the two were given handcuffs to restrain the man and bring him to his seat. Tennell said he wrapped the seatbelt through the handcuffs.
"He did try to bite me a couple of times," he said.
Decker snapped a photo of the two men standing in the aisle to keep an eye on the passenger until the plane landed. Law enforcement took over once the plane door opened.
Tennell said the plane erupted in applause after the landing.
The man now called a hero advises other passengers to quickly react to danger on a flight, and get help if you do not feel safe confronting a subject.
"There was a lot of lives at stake, where people could have been potentially hurt," he said.