A man on a Newark-bound flight from Hong Kong Monday screamed that passengers had been poisoned and drugged while ranting "your life is in jeopardy," before he was tackled by fellow fliers and crew, officials and witnesses said.
The man was in a middle seat at the rear of the plane when he began pacing the aisle and ranting, witnesses told NBC 4 New York.
In a recording of part of his rant, he can be heard saying "your life is in jeopardy," and talking about the CIA and NSA.
"He started reaching for something in his jacket, and so a few of us jumped on him, basically, put him to the floor, at the same time the crew brought plastic handcuffs and we were able to restrain him," said passenger Jacques Roizen.
Others were relieved that passengers took action.
"They took care of him, big guys," said Freida Najman.
United Airlines spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm said in a statement that "a passenger became disruptive" on the flight, and that the crew followed procedures.
The plane later landed at Newark, where it was met by Port Authority police. The man was led off the plane in handcuffs and taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, according to the official.
It was not clear whether he would face charges.
An FBI spokesman said authorities had cleared the plane and were interviewing witnesses.
--Jay Blackman contributed to this report