Passenger Punches Flight Attendant, New Yorkers Come to Rescue

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When a passenger couldn't get past a beverage cart on his way to the bathroom on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to New York, he went out of control, knocking the cart over and punching the flight attendant.

Michael Isabelle, of Framingham, Mass., allegedly lost it yesterday aboard American Airlines Flight 256 from Rio de Janeiro, sources tell the New York Daily News.

The 63-year-old kicked the cart until it toppled over. Flight attendant Carlos Carrico grabbed his arm, the sources say, and then Isabelle hit him twice.

Two New Yorkers onboard the flight sprang into action, wrestling the unruly passenger to the ground and binding his wrists with plastic ties.

"The guy was big and he was screaming, screaming, screaming," Ramiro Silos, one of the men who helped subdue Isabelle, tells The Daily News. "I could not understand him. But when we took him down, we took him down hard."

Silos said he and his friend, identified as Fernando Gil, slugged the struggling man several times before finally pinning him down.

"I did ju jitsu in Brazil for nine years, so I can handle myself," says Silos. "But yes, we were worried because he was acting crazy. We didn't know what was going on."

Isabelle was taken into custody by Port Authority Police after the plane landed and he was brought to Jamaica Hospital for a psych evaluation, says the paper.

According to Isabelle's Facebook page he is a married war Veteran. Among his interests are riding motorcycles, yoga and "helping to maintain the freedom of this country and bring the Constitution back into focus."

A spokesman for American Airlines, confirmed the flight had "a disruptive passenger on board," but declined to give any further details.

The flight attendant declined to file a criminal report.

(Libby Zay contributed to the update of this report at 4 p.m. EST on Friday)

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