New Jersey man who ‘bit man’s ear’ subdued with Benadryl by passengers on UA flight


Unruly man, 45, is subdued with a shot of Benadryl by other passengers after ‘biting a man’s ear and punching him in the face’ on a United Airlines flight to Miami

  • John Yurkovich Jr., from New Jersey, was arrested Wednesday morning when the flight crew diverted the plane to land in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Yurkovich reportedly flipped out during the flight from Newark, New Jersey to Miami, Florida, pulling off his mask and assaulting a fellow passenger
  • Other passengers were forced to step in to restrain the 45-year-old, tying him up with zip ties and a belt, while a doctor sedated him with the drug 
  • Authorities said Yurkovich was found carrying 1.5 grams of suspected meth

John Yurkovich Jr. (in mug), 45, had to be subdued with a shot of Benadryl by other passengers after he allegedly bit a man’s ear and punched him in the face on a United Airlines flight to Miami

A New Jersey man, 45, had to be subdued with a shot of Benadryl by other passengers after he allegedly bit a man’s ear and punched him in the face on a United Airlines flight to Miami.

John Yurkovich Jr. was arrested Wednesday morning when the flight crew diverted the plane to land in Charleston, South Carolina, following the alleged attack on board Flight 728. 

Yurkovich, who authorities said was found to be carrying 1.5 grams of suspected meth, reportedly flipped out during the flight from Newark, New Jersey to Miami, Florida, pulling off his mask before assaulting a fellow passenger. 

Other passengers were forced to step in to restrain the 45-year-old, tying him up with zip ties and a belt, while a doctor traveling on the flight sedated him with the drug.  

Charleston County Aviation Authority Police said the drama unfolded after Yurkovich returned to his seat after a trip to the restroom, reported The News & Observer.

Police said he became ‘agitated’ and ‘restless’ and got out of his seat to get ‘what appeared to be pills from his carry-on bag in one of the overhead bins.’

After he sat back down in his seat, the suspect allegedly started to ‘scream and thrash around’, pulled off his mask and shouted in the face of the passenger next to him. 

Yurkovich shouted ‘don’t f**king talk to me’ and ‘don’t touch me’ close to the man’s face, according to a federal criminal complaint.  

When the man didn’t respond, Yurkovich allegedly punched him several times, breaking his glasses and causing him to bleed ‘excessively from his ear’. 

Several other passengers stepped in and managed to restrain the 45-year-old with zip ties and a belt, authorities said. 

Flight crews asked passengers for a medical kit and a doctor subdued the suspect with a Benadryl shot in the buttocks, they said.

Yurkovich was arrested Wednesday morning when the flight crew diverted the plane to land in Charleston, South Carolina, following the alleged attack on board Flight 728

Yurkovich was arrested Wednesday morning when the flight crew diverted the plane to land in Charleston, South Carolina, following the alleged attack on board Flight 728

The plane was diverted to land in Charleston where police boarded the flight to find Yurkovich with a shirt covering his face and his hands tied behind his back, authorities said.    

Officials also found 1.5 grams of suspected meth in his pocket and he was arrested for possession with intent to distribute the drug.

A federal criminal complaint was also filed accusing him of assault and committing a criminal act on an aircraft.  

Two of the people who helped restrain him reported also being punched in the face in the ruckus with one left with a suspected broken nose.  

The passenger who had been seated next to Yurkovich needed seven stitches following the alleged attack, authorities said. 

Other passengers were forced to step in to restrain the 45-year-old, tying him up with zip ties and a belt, while a doctor traveling on the flight sedated him with the drug. he flight was diverted to Charleston, South Carolina (above)

Other passengers were forced to step in to restrain the 45-year-old, tying him up with zip ties and a belt, while a doctor traveling on the flight sedated him with the drug. he flight was diverted to Charleston, South Carolina (above)

United Airlines confirmed the plane had been diverted ‘due to a disruptive passenger.’ 

‘On Wednesday, United flight 728 from Newark to Miami diverted to Charleston, South Carolina due to a disruptive passenger on board,’ the airline said in a statement to DailyMail.com.

‘Law enforcement officials met the aircraft upon landing.’

An attorney for Yurkovich said the incident was out of character.   

‘This entire incident is very uncharacteristic of John,’ Rose Mary Parham told  McClatchy News. 

‘He is a loving husband and father and successful businessman.’

He was released on $50,000 bond.  

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