ORLANDO – A Florida doctor recently threw a bizarre tantrum at the American Airlines ticket counter at Orlando International Airport after staffers summoned police for his “erratic” behavior ahead of his scheduled flight.
After police arrived on the scene, the man who is reported to be a doctor, 59, staged a meltdown that he later claimed was to “prove a point” about police use of force and said that “if I was a black person, I’d be terrified.”
On August 16, Jeffrey Epstein arrived early at the ticket counter to check in for his 6:24 a.m. flight to Philadelphia, a rep for American Airlines confirmed to Fox News.
For reasons that are unknown, Epstein was set to be rebooked for the next available flight. However, he quickly became “irate” at the airline staffers as well as at “other passengers and children in the area,” the spokesperson said, and they summoned law enforcement.
When police arrived on the scene, the Lakeland man began to scream and foam at the mouth, Fox 35 Orlando reported. Moreover, he went off on the officers in an expletive-laden meltdown.
“This guy’s trying to provoke me. Do you have training, genius?” Epstein taunts an officer in footage captured by a bystander. “There’s no alcohol, you want to test me? Want me to count backwards?” he asks, as he throws up his arms.
“Come arrest me,” he dares, as police move in. “They’re arresting me. They’re arresting me. They’re really de-escalating things,” he yells as police attempt to place him in handcuffs. He resists their efforts. Therefore, they eventually force him to the ground in order to complete the arrest, although he continues with the classic passive-aggressive arms tucked into his upper body, requiring more force to be used.
“Oh my god I can’t believe they are doing this,” Epstein exclaims as he is handcuffed with airport travelers watching the scene in confusion. He continued shouting that he was “not resisting, you are treating me like a f***ing black person!”
The man later charged with battery, resisting arrest, trespassing, disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana less than 20 grams, NBC News reports. Since returning home after bonding out of jail on bond, he told WESH 2 news that he staged the scene to “prove a point.”
“If you’re going to do this to a white doctor, who’s 59-years-old, for doing nothing, then why would black people trust you?” he said.
“I’m a conservative Republican, I’m a Trump guy. But until the police fix this problem, I don’t blame black people for being upset when they get arrested,” he told the outlet.
He also shared similar sentiments with Fox 35.
“I figured a white guy getting arrested at an airport might get some attention to these black people who I think are legitimately concerned. If I was a black person, I’d be terrified,” Epstein said.
The doctor says he was making a point about police brutality in the viral airport arrest video. https://t.co/KbvUtk19cn
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) August 18, 2018
He says that he hoped the stunt could teach the carrier a lesson in customer service.
“I was no danger. I was being loud because I wanted everyone to see. I wanted everything to be out in the open. Big companies have to take care of their customers, and when they call the cops in, they got to deescalate, not escalate,” he said.
Representatives for Orlando International Airport did not immediately return Fox News’ request for additional comment on the story.
Epstein said if given the chance, he probably wouldn’t cause a scene like that again.
“My behavior wasn’t perfect but I think there’s problems in the system and maybe this’ll bring light to it.”
Epstein is a doctor who specializes in geriatrics and psychiatric medicine. Officers said they also found cannabis on him, but Epstein told FOX 35 he was not under the influence of any drugs when the incident happened.