Former Alaska state senator Johnny Ellis took in the sights of Puget Sound on Monday. In one photo posted to Twitter, Ellis grins with the Cascade Mountains rising in the background.
His views on Alaska Airlines flight 107 to Anchorage later that day were less majestic.
Ellis was among the passengers who witnessed a naked man tear down the aisle upon the plane’s descent, yelling and waving and making a commotion before he was tackled by passengers and locked in a bathroom, Ellis later said on Twitter.
In a statement, Alaska Airlines said the aircraft landed “without incident,” with law enforcement boarding the aircraft at the gate to detain the man. He was then transported to a hospital, the company said. On Twitter, Ellis said:
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“WOW. On my flt from SEA 2 ANC, a completely naked man ran from front of plane to back, yelling and waving. 2 big guys maybe one Air Marshall tackeled him and locked in bathroom. Some fear & distress @ passengers NO word from Cpt or Crew. Waiting now @ gate 4 law enforcement !!”
Ellis said in a subsequent tweet that passengers speculated the man’s father was one of the “2 big guys” who tackled him. Ellis did not immediately return a request for comment.
Another passenger, Yahoo News reporter Daniel Roberts, said on Twitter that the man appeared to be in his early 20s and that the incident was “very scary at first.”
But people do have a way of seeing bizarre incidents with a different perspective once the confusion subsides, Roberts noted. Roberts wrote on Twitter:
“We just landed, Alaska Air 107 (Seattle to Anchorage), and 20 minutes before landing a guy (looks like early 20s) sprinted up and down the full length of the plane completely naked, yelling. very scary at first. all are okay, many now laughing. guy is restrained in back of plane.”
Ellis, a Democrat who left the Alaska Senate in 2016 after three decades in office, has recently been treated for prostate cancer and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. But he remains involved in state politics, often tweeting to support public education funding, and he met with Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, a Republican, in April.
After things had calmed down and the plane had landed, Ellis waited for a wheelchair and was second to last off the plane, he wrote on Twitter.
The plane’s captain, he said, was “extra nice.”