The flight, which was operated as American Airlines Flight 4817, was evacuated “in response to reports from passengers of suspicious and irregular behavior by a fellow passenger,” according to a statement from the Port Authority in New York and New Jersey.
“Law enforcement and first responders met the plane and the passenger involved in the incident has been remanded in custody,” Republic Airways said.
The plane declared the emergency on Saturday “in response to passenger behavior near the end of the flight,” according to a statement from the airline.
Passengers told Port Authority Police at one point during the flight that the passenger reached his luggage and they were scared, Port Authority spokesman Thomas Topousis told CNN.
There were 76 passengers and six crew on board the plane, Topousis added.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul wrote in a tweet that officials “are monitoring the situation and there is no reason to believe there is any danger to New Yorkers at this time.”
Operations at the airport usually ran after the incident, according to a tweet Saturday night from the airport’s official Twitter handle.
“The previous incident involving a disruptive American Airlines / Republic Airways passenger and an evacuation of passengers has been resolved,” the tweet said.
Earlier Saturday, the pilot alerted authorities to the incident, and when the plane landed on a runway, a “runway exit from the plane was performed to clear passengers from the passenger plane,” according to the previous port authority statement.
Investigators interviewed the passenger who acted suspiciously, as well as several passengers who sat closest to that person to learn more about what happened on board the flight, the port authority added.
The Port Authority’s police department called the New York Fire Department to help with an emergency flight, FDNY told CNN.
Indianapolis resident Laura Bergdoll, who was on the plane with her 7-year-old son, told CNN as soon as the plane landed “the pilots and flight attendants started shouting ‘Evacuate! Evacuate!’ and we all got off the plane. “
Bergdoll said she heard “someone acted suspiciously and made some kind of bomb threat.”
The flight was an American Eagle flight 4817 operated by Republic Airways, which originated in Indianapolis and arrived in LaGuardia, according to the airline’s statement.
The Federal Aviation Administration is aware of the incident and calls it a security incident where all passengers were safely scheduled.
The Transportation Security Administration said Saturday’s incident was an example of a “See something, say something” situation “according to a statement from TSA spokesman Sari Koshetz.
Passengers reported that they had seen suspicious behavior on the plane to the flight crew, and the flight crew then warned the captain, who then “took the precaution to park away from the terminal,” Koshetz said.
New York Port Authority police responded to the incident along with a disposal of explosive ordnance and a K9 team and cleared the situation, Koshetz added.