Man arrested at Charleston International Airport on charges of assaulting passengers during United flight

State - Regional

John Yurkovich | Charleston County Detention Center booking photo

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A 45-year-old man was arrested at Charleston International Airport on Thursday morning after causing a disturbance on a United Airlines flight.

According to an incident report, the flight was destined for Miami from Newark, N.J., and made the landing in Charleston around 10 a.m. after a man attacked other passengers.

Authorities and Charleston County EMS responded to Gate A-2 after receiving a report of “someone’s ear being bitten off.” However, there was no other mention of anyone’s ear being bitten in the report.

The report states officers boarded the plane and observed the suspect, later identified as John Yurkovich, face-down on the floor being restrained with his hands behind his back and zip-tied to his belt.

A victim who was seated next to Yurkovich said the man got up from his seat to use the bathroom and seemed “very agitated” and restless when he returned.

The victim said Yurkovich asked the flight attendant for some water, and then got up from his seat to retrieve what appeared to be pills from his carry-on baggage. He then sat down and began to scream and thrash around.

According to the report, the suspect struck the victim with a closed fist on the right side of his face, causing his glasses to break – he also suffered a laceration to his left ear.

Other passengers moved to intervene and restrain Yurkovich, including a medical doctor who assisted in attempting to sedate the suspect by administering Benadryl.

A second victim, who was seated behind the suspect, intervened afterYurkovich attacked the first victim and stated that he may have suffered a broken nose.

The report says a third victim attempted to subdue Yurkovich and was punched in the side of his head. He told police that he was not seriously injured.

Authorities arrested Yurkovich and charged him with possession with intent to distribute meth. He was released on a $50,000 bond.

The flight was cleared to continue to its destination in Florida.

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