MIAMI — NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. was removed from a plane just before takeoff at Miami International Airport by police and aviation officials said Sunday, after officials said he failed to respond to requests to buckle up and appeared unconscious.
“Concerned that Mr. Beckham was seriously ill, and that his condition would worsen during the expected 5-hour flight, (crew members) called police and fire rescue,” Miami-Dade Police Officer Luis Sierra said in a statement 9 hours later. 30 am Sunday event.
“As they were trying to wake (Beckham) to fasten his seat belt, he appeared to enter and pass out,” the statement said.
American Airlines representative Alfredo Garduno confirmed that Flight 1228 to Los Angeles returned to the gate before take-off “due to the customer not following the instructions of the crew members and refusing to fasten the seatbelt.”
Carlos Gaona, a business class traveler, said he recognized Beckham before he boarded the plane and later used his cellphone camera to record him walking through the airport terminal with police. He said that Beckham was sitting in the first class.
“He walked calmly. He was escorted out by the police,” Gauna said, adding that the flight was full and he heard “growling” among other passengers.
Director Gaona was returning home to Camarillo, California, near Los Angeles, after more than two weeks documenting sharks in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil.
He said the plane was on its way to take off when the captain announced that the “situation with one of the passengers” required a return to the terminal. Gaona said an ambulance arrived and paramedics got on the plane and spoke to Beckham before police removed him.
Other passengers boarded the plane and the flight later departed for Los Angeles, where Gaona spoke with the Associated Press.
a Twitter post The one attributed to Beckham seems to be referring to the incident, saying, “Never in my life have I felt what just happened to me,” adding misspelling that he “saw it all.”
Police said Beckham was “escorted by officers to the unsecured area of the terminal where he made other arrangements”.
Sierra did not immediately respond to questions about whether Beckham was arrested or cited for a criminal offense.
Beckham, 30, is a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who has been a free agent since helping the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl last February. He caught a touchdown pass before tearing a knee ligament in a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
It was reported that Beckham was close to returning to the league and the Dallas Cowboys said they wanted to sign him.
Many other teams are expected to follow Beckham, who has been at the center of controversy in previous stops with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.
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