Video shows violent encounter with passenger at Orlando airport

Police pepper spray man apparently upset over JetBlue flight delay

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

ORLANDO, Fla. - A violent encounter Sunday night at Orlando International Airport was captured on cellphone video.

A witness recorded video of a man yelling and fighting with JetBlue workers at a gate. An arrest report by Orlando police said the man, later identified as Brandon Strong, of Utah, was "very belligerent" when he assaulted the crew member.

The witness said Strong was apparently upset over a flight delay. 

In the video, Strong is seen struggling with Orlando police. The responding officer said Strong refused to follow orders not to touch his luggage and told the officer he was getting on the flight.

The officer told Strong he was being placed under arrest and could be pepper sprayed if he didn't follow instructions. When he still refused to follow orders, the officer tackled him to the floor and sprayed him, according to the report. 

Witnesses said several bystanders were affected by the fumes. Bystanders can be heard coughing in the background of a video taken by a witness.

The officer was eventually able to handcuff Strong and began walking him out of the area where the incident took place when Strong initiated another struggle, knocking both the officer and himself to the ground, according to an arrest report. Police said Strong violently ripped the officer's radio and magazines off his body.

According to the report, Strong lost track of his 8-year-old son who was traveling with him. JetBlue employees waited with the boy until a family member arrived to get him. 

"Authorities were requested by crewmembers at Orlando International Airport after a customer was denied boarding for intoxication and became disruptive. Additional details should be requested from Orlando Police," JetBlue officials said in a statement.

The JetBlue flight to Salt Lake City, Utah, was delayed for about two hours, according to OIA spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell.

Strong was taken into custody and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, depriving an officer of means of protection, resisting an officer with violence, resisting an officer without violence, child neglect, disorderly intoxication and battery.

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