Passenger’s note about ‘blood’ delays flight

/ Source: The Associated Press

A New York-to-Portland flight carrying former Maine Gov. Angus King was delayed for more than two hours on Christmas Eve after a passenger passed along a note about blood and death.

The man, whose name was not released, gave the note to another passenger, Tammy Budek, who gave it to a flight attendant as the plane rolled toward the runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

“He said he had AIDS, and the shedding of his blood and all our blood would cure all sickness,” Budek, of Sharpsville, Pa., told the Portland Press Herald at Portland International Jetport on Sunday. She said the note suggested “he was Jesus and it was time for everybody to die.”

The note writer, who appeared to be about 35 years old, was taken into custody and hospitalized. Alan Hicks, spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said it was unlikely that the man would be charged with a crime.

After the US Airways Express regional jet was swept by bomb-sniffing dogs and nothing suspicious was found, the flight was allowed to take off for Portland.

King said as he arrived in Portland that the incident “wasn’t a big deal,” but others were shaken.

Nancy Zerr of Lyman said she got a call from her daughter, Kelly Bowden of Wilmington, N.C., saying the plane would be late because “There’s something going on, and there are guns.”

Budek, traveling with her husband and two children, said she the note brought her to tears. “She was quite upset,” said her mother, Dianne Brown. “I was petrified.”