ORLANDO, Fla. — A Utah man faces several felony charges after allegedly causing a public disturbance and attacking an officer at an airport in Orlando, Florida
Police responded to the Orlando International Airport around 7:21 p.m. Sunday after receiving a report of an intoxicated man.
An employee for JetBlue told police that 45-year-old Brandon L. Strong, of Layton, had been told he would not be allowed to travel after he insulted another customer and showed signs of intoxication.
“[Strong] told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and that he was going to travel. At that point, I realized that he was intoxicated as he got up to grab all his thing he was stumbling and continued to walk toward the closed gate door,” the JetBlue employee told police.
The JetBlue employee said Strong attempted to grab him, and he and two customers tried to restrain him.
According to the probable cause statement, one of the Orlando officers who responded to the scene warned Strong to drop his belongings, walk to the gate and have a seat. At one point, the officer took hold of Strong’s right wrist and told him he was being detained.
“In the middle of the statement Strong spoke over me and stated that if I did not let go of him bad things would happen,” the officer wrote.
As a crowd gathered around, the officer warned Strong he would have to use chemical spray, but Strong still didn’t comply, the probable cause statement said.
“Given Strong’s continued resistance to my instructions and obstruction of my investigation I responded to his resistance by administering one short burst of my chemical agent approximately a foot away from Strong’s face in his direction,” the officer wrote.
The officer then attempted to handcuff Strong, the probable cause statement said, but Strong continued to resist. They then got into a fight in which Strong is accused of removing the officer’s radio and two ammunition magazines from the officer’s vest.
According to police, other JetBlue passengers and employees helped subdue Strong as they waited for additional officers to arrive. The officer who initially responded was then able to handcuff Strong.
“During this time Strong yelled ‘Where is the NAACP?!’,” the probable cause statement said.
Two other officers assisted in escorting Strong out of the airport and into a squad car. On the way out, Strong kicked one of the officer’s legs, causing them both to fall forward.
“I stood back up and [another officer] held on to Strong and we again began to escort Strong out of the terminal to the elevator, after a few more moments Strong then stopped walking, fell to his knees and said, “I’m not going!” “Where is my eight-year-old?”, and “I have to s— my pants.’,” the probable cause statement said.
Strong was booked into Orange County Jail, where he faces charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, depriving an officer means of protection or communication, resisting officer with violence, resisting officer without violence, child neglect, disorderly intoxication and battery.
“During transport to the Orange County Jail, Strong referred to [one of the JetBlue employees] as the ‘Paul Bart Mall Cop’ and was going to come after him with everything he’s got, and that he was a concealed weapons permit holder and firearms owner. I asked Strong what he meant by that to which he replied, that he knows a lot of people in the white house from his work as a contractor at Hill Air Force Base in Utah,” the probable cause statement said.