Duval County

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Traumatized by everything:’ Woman escorted off flight diverted to Jacksonville speaks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE 7:56 a.m.- Action News Jax learned from the FBI that Evan Sims was the man escorted off the plane, and he is now facing federal charges for “making threats concerning an aircraft.” The woman has not been charged.


The FBI confirms no arrests were made in the incident that caused a plane to divert to Jacksonville on Tuesday.

Action News Jax told you Tuesday night about a man and woman being escorted off a plane that had to land at Jacksonville International Airport.


It took off from Orlando and was heading to Rhode Island. After the flight was diverted, those passengers had to stay the night in Jacksonville.

The Breeze Airways flight was rescheduled to leave Jacksonville for Providence, RI, on Wednesday morning.

Only Action News Jax’s Alexus Cleavenger spoke with a woman who was escorted off that plane.

Alexus Cleavenger: “What happened on that flight yesterday from Orlando to Providence”?

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Woman: “The person I was with was,” she said, “making stupid comments.”

For the first time, we are hearing from a woman who was briefly taken into custody Tuesday night after a Breeze Airways flight was diverted and forced to land in Jacksonville.

It all stemmed from an altercation she was having with another passenger on board.

When the flight was rescheduled to take off Wednesday morning, passengers called and emailed Action News Jax, saying the same woman was at the gate, boarding the continuing flight to Providence.

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Cleavenger bought a ticket to see for herself.

“I’m just still traumatized by everything,” the woman said.

The woman did not want to show her face on camera or be identified.

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But she confirmed that she and a man she was with were the ones escorted off the plane by police.

“We are literally on the runway, then this guy’s like, ‘We need to get off this flight, we need to get off this flight,’ and we are all like, ‘Hmm, that’s kind of weird,’” passenger Jess McCaughey said.

Passengers say 45 minutes after departing Orlando, the plane made an emergency landing in Jacksonville.

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“The police dogs come on and search everyone’s bags,” McCaughey said.

The man police escorted off the flight said sorry as he was being put in handcuffs.

The passengers applauded as he was walked out.

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Passengers on board say there was a bomb threat.

“I thought, how did someone get through TSA if there is a threat like this,” passenger Anissa Gardiner said.

And passengers on board, including the woman taken into custody, said they were ready to be home.

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