by Mike M. Ahlers
(CNN) — When flight attendants needed help with a disruptive passenger, Mets pitcher LaTroy Hawkins didn’t balk. The lanky right-hander and fellow passengers pitched in, restraining the passenger while the plane was diverted to a nearby airport.
Hawkins, 40, tweeted about the experience, which he said interrupted his American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Santiago, Chile, where the ballplayer planned to go dove hunting.
Hawkins said a passenger became upset when a flight attendant told him he couldn’t sit in an open seat in business class. “They started to wrestle and landed in my lap,” Hawkins tweeted.
It was the wrong lap to land in apparently. Hawkins is 6 feet 5 inches and weighs 220 pounds.
Hawkins and fellow passengers subdued the man, and the plane was diverted to Lima, Peru, where the passenger was removed.
American confirmed that Flight 945, carrying 206 passengers, was diverted early Monday because of an unruly passenger.
“The plane was met by local law enforcement when it arrived” in Lima, spokesman Matt Miller told CNN. “Other passengers on the flight helped our flight attendants escort the individual off the plane.”
The plane was on the ground for about two hours before departing for Santiago.
“Long day but we finally made it to our hunting lodge,” Hawkins tweeted.
Tweeted one Hawkins fan: “Your new nickname should be air marshal.”