New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was on board a United Airlines plane that was set to depart San Francisco International on Friday when a passenger was removed for suspicious behavior, delaying its departure to Boston.
According to San Francisco police, the flight crew on board United Flight 1108 was alerted about a passenger taking cell phone photos of the crew. Crew members asked the passenger to delete the photos, which he did, police said.
However, another passenger — who police did not identify — saw the man's phone which had a picture on it of a cell phone with wires sticking out of it. The passenger informed the flight crew about it and the man was removed from the plane. All passengers and luggage were re-screened, including the hand-wipe test for explosive residue, police said.
San Francisco Police detained the suspicious passenger and ran a background check on him with the help of the FBI. According to police, the man has no criminal history. All other passengers were allowed to board the flight, which took off around 1 p.m. The man who was held for questioning was put on another flight to Boston.
Christie's campaign released a statement saying a passenger "was removed from the plane before takeoff at the request of United Airlines."
The statement continued: "At no point did Governor Christie interact with this passenger nor did this passenger pose a verbal or physical threat to the governor." Christie — who is running for president in 2016 — was in San Francisco for fundraising events. Hewlett Packard CEO and Christie supporter Meg Whitman hosted an event for him at her Atherton home Thursday night. On Friday, he was on the flight with an aide and a member of his security detail.
The flight — originally scheduled to take off at 8:32 a.m. — was delayed for four hours, when the pilot announced that the plane was going to return to the gate because of "operational difficulties."
A statement from United simply said the flight was delayed due to a disruptive customer on board.
Some Flight 1108 passengers were live-tweeting the incident, complaining about the delay.