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.
. . . .
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."
Not to ruin the ending for you, Mrs. Hayden, but the Assyrian butler did it.
Actually, it seems that The Richest Man in Babylon is some sort of personal finance self-help book. An enthralling one, apparently. I'm not a big reader of self-help books -- I prefer to let others help me -- but I think I'd go for a book which had "go up there and step on somebody's neck" amongst its advice.