Spirit Airlines flight diverted to Phoenix, 64-year-old Jose De Dios Ucros arrested by police

Posted at 12:07 PM, Aug 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-06 21:39:01-04

Officials from Sky Harbor confirm a Spirit Airlines flight from Los Angeles, California to Fort Lauderdale, Florida was diverted Friday night due to an unruly passenger.

Phoenix police say 64-year-old Jose De Dios Ucros appeared to be impaired and was asked to stay in his seat after he was seen acting strangely near the exit door. Police say after he was moved to the back of the flight, the man became belligerent, cursing and touching other passengers. 

Police say the man eventually assaulted a crew member and had to be restrained when he wouldn't stop acting out.

A man on the plane, John Apikian, tells ABC15 he stepped in after flight attendants asked for help when the passenger started to become violent. Apikian says he held the man down until flight attendants were able to retrieve zip-tie styled handcuffs to control the suspect.

Eventually the plane was diverted to Phoenix, and the man was removed from the flight by airport police.

Sgt. Vince Lewis says Ucros was booked into jail Saturday on two counts of assault.

Lewis did not immediately know Ucros' city of residence.

ABC15 has reached out to Spirit Airlines for comment, but have not received a statement.

No serious injuries have been reported in the incident.

Passengers on the flight were put on another flight to Fort Lauderdale early Saturday morning.