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Sheriff Clarke gets last laugh after drunk passenger harrasses him during 2-hour flight

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Image credit: Facebook
Image credit: Facebook


A 36-year-old man was arrested Saturday, after spending a 2-hour flight from Milwaukee to Charlotte telling off the Milwaukee County Sheriff.

According to witnesses on the American Airlines flight, Preston Bluntson was disruptive and intoxicated and talking “abusively” throughout the plane ride.

36-year-old Preston Bluntson. Credit: Mecklenburg County Sheriff
36-year-old Preston Bluntson. Credit: Mecklenburg County Sheriff

Bluntson was being “loud and obnoxious” and directing many of his comments at Sheriff David Clarke Jr. – who was sitting in the back of the 12-row plane, the Journal-Sentinel reported.

According to the article, Bluntson repeatedly used a racial epithet, saying the sheriff was “not one of us.”  Both men are African-American.

Clarke reportedly only responded once, telling the man to “shut up.”

Passengers tried unsuccessfully to get Bluntson to calm down. One passenger told the local paper: “In all my years flying, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“The sheriff handled himself extremely well. It could have gotten a lot worse because the guy was not backing down.”

Bluntson was being held late Saturday in the Mecklenburg County Jail—charged with intoxication and disruptive behavior.

A police report on the incident is not yet available, a spokesman with Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD said.

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