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Fight erupts on flight to Utah over man's refusal to wear mask

Fight erupts on flight to Utah over man's refusal to wear mask
Posted at 7:33 PM, Oct 05, 2020

PROVO, Utah - Things were far from the "friendly skies" on a flight to Provo over the weekend when a fight broke out after a passenger refused to wear a mask.

Rylie Lansford shared a video of the altercation that occurred just moments after she boarded the Allegiant flight from Mesa, Arizona, to Provo, Utah, on Saturday

Lansford says the fight started after a flight attendant asked a man who had already boarded to wear a face mask that covered his mouth and nose. The passenger was already wearing a face shield, but Allegiant requires masks to be worn at all times.

A mild argument ensued between the reportedly belligerent passenger and the flight attendant.

Soon thereafter, another passenger became involved in the dispute. Police said that the passenger asked the man to comply.

Flight attendants told both men they would be kicked off the flight if they did not tone down their behavior. However, Lansford said the second man continued on a tirade and threatened the original man.

At that point, with the flight ready to depart, security was called in to remove the man who refused to wear a mask.

As the man got up to be escorted out, Lansford believes he took a punch at the second passenger. A brief physical scuffle occurred and Lansford ran to the front of the plane.

Lansford says the flight crew handled the entire situation really well.

While the original man was escorted off, the second passenger was not removed from the plane despite his participation in the fight.

When contacted by FOX 13, Allegiant reiterated its position on wearing face masks on flights.

"Face coverings must be made of solid material, fully cover the mouth and nose, fit snugly against the face, and be secured under the chin. Prohibited coverings include those with exhalation valves, holes (such as lace or mesh), neck gaiters, and bandanas. Face shields may be worn in addition to a face covering, but not as an alternative."

The flight eventually departed and arrived in Provo without any further incident.

According to Mesa Police, 52-year-old Rio James Honaker was charged with disorderly conduct.

This story was first reported by Jeff Tavss at KSTU in Salt Lake City, Utah.