18 MAY 2017: Toronto city councillor Michael Thompson helped subdue a fellow passenger on an Air Canada plane Monday after the man allegedly tried to open a cabin door mid-flight. Thompson was flying home with his mother from a Jamaican vacation when a man in business class became upset and was moved to a seat in the back of the plane, near the councillor.

Thompson said the man removed his belt, put it on the seat beside him and also removed his shoes. A flight attendant agreed that Thompson should try to talk to him.

“It was a very difficult situation but we had to be calm and try to reason with the individual,” he said.

At first the man seemed to calm down, but then became upset, ordering Thompson to leave the seat beside him and then ordering him not to stand in the aisle. When the councillor refused to sit down, the man jumped up, grabbed a coffee pot from the galley and threatened to throw it at him, Thompson said.

Court documents show Brandon Michael Courneyea was arrested in Orlando on Monday after the flight from Montego Bay to Toronto had to be diverted because of a disturbance on board.

Courneyea allegedly assaulted members of the Air Canada flight crew and tried to open the door of a plane while it was in flight.

The documents allege Courneyea yelled at fellow passengers for looking at him, swung pots full of hot coffee at flight attendants and eventually tried to open the door of the aircraft mid-flight after saying, “it would only take one guy to take the plane down.”

The flight was ultimately diverted to Orlando, where Courneyea was arrested and taken into custody by the FBI.

A criminal complaint against him says he was arrested under a charge of assault or intimidation of a flight crew member and interfering with their job duties, an allegation that has not yet been proven in court.

Courneyea's wife says his arrest has come as a complete shock, saying his alleged behaviour is not in keeping with the man she knows.

She told The Canadian Press her husband is the kindest, most loving man you'll ever meet. And anybody that knows him will tell you the same thing.”

Amanda Courneyea said her 33-year-old husband headed off to Jamaica last week from his home in Amherstview, Ontario to fulfil a long-held desire to take a vacation there.

But she said his vacation plans went awry almost immediately and that he told her that locals were threatening his life.

She arranged for Courneyea to move up his flight plans from Friday to Monday, booking him on an Air Canada flight to Toronto that left Montego Bay in the late afternoon.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Courneyea, disruptions began almost as soon as the flight was in the air.




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