Age really is just a number

Posted by: ST on June 6, 2007 at 10:01 am

Check out this awesome story of a former police commander and a former US Marine and how they, along with a flight attendant, took care of an unruly passenger on a recent Minneapolis to Boston flight:

Shortly before landing, Bob Hayden and a flight attendant had agreed on a signal: When she waved the plastic handcuffs, he would discreetly leave his seat and restrain an unruly passenger who had frightened some of the 150 people on board a Minneapolis-to-Boston flight Saturday night with erratic behavior.

Hayden, a 65-year-old former police commander, had enlisted a gray-haired gentleman sitting next to him to assist. The man turned out to be a former US Marine.

“I had looked around the plane for help, and all the younger guys had averted their eyes. When I asked the guy next to me if he was up to it, all he said was, ‘Retired captain. USMC.’ I said, ‘You’ll do,’ ” Hayden recalled. “So, basically, a couple of grandfathers took care of the situation.”

The incident on Northwest Airlines Flight 720 ended peacefully, but not before Hayden, a former Boston police deputy superintendent and former Lawrence police chief, and the retired Marine had handcuffed one man and stood guard over another until the plane touched down safely at Logan International Airport around 7:50 p.m.

State Police troopers escorted two men off the flight. Trooper Thomas Murphy, a State Police spokesman, said one of the men was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital for “an unspecified medical issue, possibly mental health.”


Hayden’s wife of 42 years, Katie, who was also on the flight, was less impressed. Even as her husband struggled with the agitated passenger, she barely looked up from “The Richest Man in Babylon,” the book she was reading.

“The woman sitting in front of us was very upset and asked me how I could just sit there reading,” Katie Hayden said. “Bob’s been shot at. He’s been stabbed. He’s taken knives away. He knows how to handle those situations. I figured he would go up there and step on somebody’s neck, and that would be the end of it. I knew how that situation would end. I didn’t know how the book would end.”

I love it!

There’s something to be said for age and experience ;)

Hat tip: Blackfive

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3 Responses to “Age really is just a number”


  1. Severian says:

    There’s something to be said for age and experience.

    And having a pair of balls instead of being neutered by the PC brigade.

  2. NC Cop says:

    LOL, Sev!!!!! =))

    It appears that genius picked the wrong flight to act out on. A flight with a former police commander AND a former U.S. Marine, what are the odds?!?!?

    Chris Rock said it best: “If the police have to come after you, you know they’re bringing an a**whipping with them!”

  3. Drewsmom says:

    Folks are not simply gonna sit on a plane anymore and let weird crap happen around em — good for them and age makes no difference. Hope when I fly to No. Carolina soon I have guys like these on my plane.
    I’m 57, still pretty fiesty and would pull a Todd Beamer, LETS ROLL, in a heartbeat. I am gonna be so observant I’ll remind myseff of my Granny who used to state people down when she got older. I think she may have been on to something even way back then. God rest her soul. =d>