An unruly passenger forced an LA-bound flight to divert and stop the Sunport back in December. That man was charged with a federal crime, and now police have released the lapel video of his arrest.
With a simple hand gesture, the captain of the Delta flight from Cincinnati to LA showed Albuquerque Police officers which man forced them to make an unexpected landing on Dec. 21.
Canadian citizen Ian Smallwood, who tells police that he’s a 50-year-old businessman, was removed from the flight and questioned by officers.
As seen in the police lapel video, Smallwood didn’t know what day it was, what time it was, or where he was. He thought he was in Kentucky.
Smallwood told police he had two gin and tonics, but that he was sober and ‘did nothing wrong.’
He was also adamant that he was assaulted by another passenger, and told police, “Go do your job. Go interview,” while waving his hands.
“So, this black f***ing guy gets in my face,” Smallwood said, as police asked him to calm down. “I’m relaxed dude. I’m telling you what f***ing happened.”
In speaking to that passenger and a flight attendant, police learned Smallwood was disruptive from the time he boarded in Cincinnati.
The flight attendant recounted Smallwood yelling at her, unprovoked after he spilled his alcoholic drink on himself. The flight attendant tried to help by providing a towel and club soda but said Smallwood threw the rag on the ground.
He also tried to change his clothes in public, she said.
“He goes, ‘I don’t have any underwear on,'” she said.
Smallwood also complained about a family in front him with an infant baby that cried and defecated in its diaper.
“He started flashing this money at me, and it looked like it was Canadian money. A whole bunch of it and saying, ‘I want a first class seat,'” she said.
He picked on the pregnant mother from that family, according to passengers and the flight crew, bee-lining for the woman and her child as they went to the bathroom. That prompted dad, the ‘black guy’ that Smallwood kept referencing, to intervene and stand between his wife, the child and Smallwood.
“The way he had spoken to the flight attendant was belligerent at first, and then approaching a pregnant woman is just scary. I didn’t know if he had been drinking,” the dad said.
Smallwood continued to be belligerent off the plane with officers.
“So, do I get dum-dum’s name or what?” he said. “I’d like to see the black f***ing motherf***er.”
He pulled out his small guitar and started playing it in the middle of the terminal as officers waited for federal agents to arrive and arrest him.
He now faces a federal charge of interference with flight crew members.
At the end of the police lapel video, a Delta gate agent said Smallwood will not be allowed to fly Delta ever again.
Sunport officials tell KRQE News 13 it’s pretty rare that flights get diverted to Albuquerque for incidents like this.