Illinois Candidate Helps Subdues Unruly Airline Passenger

On a flight from Chicago to Washington John Tree was asked by a flight attendant to step between her and a passenger who was being verbally abusive.

By Alise Blunk
|  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011  |  Updated 3:36 PM CDT
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Illinois Candidate Helps Subdues Unruly Airline Passenger

John Tree Campaign

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An Illinois Democratic House hopeful helped subdue an unruly first class passenger on a flight from Chicago to Washington Monday night.

Congressional candidate John Tree was asked by a flight attendant to stand "between her and a passenger who had been extremely verbally abusive to flight personnel and other passengers," according to a statement by Tree's campaign.

The passenger was shouting profanities, making threats and kicking the aircraft walls, said the statement.

"At one point, the passenger got out of his seat, and jabbed Tree several times in the abdomen as he stood between the passenger's seat and the galley," Tree's campaign told the Chicago Sun-Times.

After the passenger had been subdued and returned to his seat, Tree sat next to him for the rest of the evening flight, and according to Tree's campaign, the passenger "responded with a tirade of verbal abuse toward Tree, the airline and the United States military."

Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" was a passenger in first class when the incident occurred, according to the Times.

After the flight landed at Ronald Reagan National Airport law enforcement removed the passenger from the plane. 

John Tree is a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and is a candidate for Congress for Illinois' 10th district.

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