United Airlines flight diverted after man allegedly bites passenger’s ear, police say

A United Airlines plane seen at the gate at Chicago OHare International airport (ORD)on October 5, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

A United Airlines flight was diverted earlier this week after a passenger allegedly bit another man’s ear and assaulted other people on board, according to police. 

In a statement provided to Fox News on Friday, United confirmed that flight 728 had to be diverted to Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday "due to a disruptive passenger on board."

"Law enforcement officials met the aircraft upon landing," the airline said. 

The flight was scheduled to fly from Newark, New Jersey, to Miami, but stopped in Charleston, South Carolina, because of the incident. 

An incident report provided to Fox News from the Charleston County Aviation Authority Police Department said the passenger allegedly became "very agitated" and "restless" after he went to the bathroom during the flight.

The man then reportedly got up from his seat "to retrieve what appeared to be pills from his carry-on bag in one of the overhead bins," the report said.

When he sat back down, the man allegedly started screaming and thrashing around, according to police. 

The passenger beside him reportedly "held his arm up to protect himself from being hit," but the man still allegedly hit him, breaking his glasses and reportedly bit his ear, the report said. 

The man also allegedly hit two other passengers sitting nearby, potentially breaking one man’s nose. 

According to the police report, a doctor onboard the flight "administered Benadryl via injection" to the man’s buttocks in order to subdue him. 

Police said they found 1.5 grams of suspected Methamphetamine in the man’s pocket and he was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute the drug, the report said. 

The man, who was identified by police as New Jersey resident John Yurkovich, Jr., could not be reached for comment. 

When the plane landed and police arrived, the man was "face down on the floor of the aircraft being restrained with his hands behind his back with zip ties and a belt," the report said.

His attorney, Rose Mary Parham, did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Friday afternoon. However, she did tell The State that the incident was "very uncharacteristic" of him. 

"He is a loving husband and father and successful businessman," she told the newspaper.

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