A passenger’s racist rant stalled travelers trying to get to their loved ones on Wednesday.
On a Delta flight from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, David Toaff shouted anti-Semitic remarks, much to the discomfort of his fellow passengers. Officer Lisa Bender said Toaff “was yelling, asking Jewish people on board to identify themselves and making remarks about bombings to passengers aboard the aircraft.” After authorities were alerted, they waited for Toaff at the gate once the plane landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport where witnesses say he was uncooperative and refused to calm down. Toaff was detained after “continuing the disturbance” and resisting arrest.
Passenger Jordan Dale filmed Toaff’s episode with the Atlanta police. In Dale’s video, Toaff told officers he is “not a bad person” and asked, “What did I do wrong?” He also tried to run away from the arresting officers. You can hear another person off screen calling Toaff a “Nazi.”
“Today a man on my plane went on an anti-Semitic tirade and demanded “all Jews raise their hands” so he could “identify them,” Dale tweeted. “Later, during the arrest, he protested.” Toaff, who claims to be well known in the D.C. area, even appeared to be wearing a tallit, customarily worn by members of the Jewish community during prayer.
In the past month, there have been several incidents of racist passengers causing issues mid-air. Ryanair Airlines was criticized after failing to remove an unruly man after he called an elderly woman sitting next to him an “ugly black bastard.” He also shouted, “don’t talk to me in a foreign language you stupid ugly cow.” An intoxicated woman, later identified as an activist and human rights lawyer Simone O’Brien, was filmed making racist and threatening remarks to flight attendants on an Air London flight after they refused to serve her some wine.