Congressional Candidate (Maybe) Saved Flight from Unruly Passenger

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A candidate for Congress in Illinois reportedly subdued an enraged passenger on a domestic flight yesterday, and though his Republican competitors question his account of events, randomly-also-on-the-flight MSNBC host Chris Matthews confirmed the incident. The candidate, John Tree, is a colonel in the Air Force reserves. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Tree's campaign said in a press release that the candidate was "asked by a flight attendant sometime after takeoff to move from his coach seat to first class in order to stand between her and a passenger who had been extremely verbally abusive to flight personnel and other passengers ... Tree, with the help of a number of other passengers in the first class cabin, subdued the passenger and returned him to his seat. Tree sat next to the passenger for the remainder of the flight to prevent further disturbances." So he saved the day! But wait. National Journal's Matt  Vasilogambros reports that state Republican party has issued a release citing an anonymous Congressional staffer who was also on the plane and contests Tree's version of events. "The release goes on to ask why the plane was not diverted and why the passenger in question was not handcuffed," Vasiliogambros reports. Shucks, so he may have embellished the story for political gain, then. But wait (again)! MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who was also on this apparently politically star-studded flight from Chicago to D.C., emailed the Chicago Sun-Times to confirm Tree's heroic story. As a side note, if anyone would like to option this film, tentatively titled Politicos on a Plane, we are available to write the screenplay.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.