United Airlines flight forced to make an emergency landing after a ‘report of someone’s ear being bit off’

A Boeing 777/200 of United Airlines on July 30, 2020.
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

  • A flight from Newark to Miami was diverted after police were alerted about a “disruptive” passenger.
  • The suspect bit and punched other passengers and had to be sedated with Benadryl, USA Today reported.
  • He was arrested after police found 1.5 grams of methamphetamines in his pocket, the media outlet said.

United Airlines flight made an emergency stop after a “disruptive” man bit and punched other passengers, according to a police report seen by USA Today.

The flight from Newark to Miami had to land in Charleston, South Carolina, after a “report of someone’s ear being bit off,” a spokesperson for Charleston County Aviation Authority Police Department told USA Today.

One passenger told police that the suspect, identified as John Yurkovich, was “agitated” after a visit to the bathroom. Yurkovich then began to “scream and thrash around,” according to a police report seen by USA Today.

He then proceeded to hit a passenger with a “closed fist” and broke their glasses, the police report said.

Others tried to restrain Yurkovich but the initial victim received a deep wound to the ear during the scuffle, USA Today reported. Another passenger was punched by Yurkovich and told police that he thought his nose had been broken, the media outlet said.

Yet another traveler was injured in the incident. He told the police that he was punched in the “temporal region,” according to USA Today.

A doctor on the flight tried to pacify Yurkovich by injecting him with Benadryl, the police report said.

John Yurkovich, 45, of New Jersey faces a single count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
Charleston County Sheriff’s Office

Police apprehended Yurkovich once the plane had been taxied to the gate, USA Today reported.

His hands had been tied behind his back with zip ties and a belt when the police approached him, the media outlet said.

Yurkovich was arrested on a charge of “possession with intent to distribute methamphetamines” after police found 1.5 grams of the drug in his pocket, police said.

FBI also has other pending charges against Yurkovich, USA Today reported.

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