WASHINGTON - A passenger who was on a Delta Air Lines flight where a D.C. man is alleged of making anti-Semitic and bombing remarks is speaking out to FOX 5 about what he witnessed aboard the plane and the man's arrest at the airport.
Police say 38-year-old David Toaff was yelling and asking Jewish people on board to identify themselves during a Thanksgiving Eve flight from Reagan National Airport to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta.
People on the plane say they were gripped with fear when the man’s outburst began not long after takeoff. Some passengers interpreted his remarks to be anti-Semitic.
“I was just watching a movie on the plane and I heard a man screaming, so I took out my headphones and he was screaming, asking for all Jews to identify themselves, to raise their hands,” said passenger Jordan Dale. “It was pretty terrifying.”
He says the man caused a scary scene 45 minutes after the flight took off from Washington D.C.
After the plane landed at the Atlanta airport, Dale says police officers escorted the D.C. man off the plane. Dale recorded video on his cellphone of Toaff at the gate talking and yelling at the officers.
Toaff appears confused and a bit combative with police. Eventually, the officers walk him back to the security doors where Toaff tried to escape at one point.
In the video, Toaff can be heard telling the officers as they were trying to get him to calm down, “I help black people every day in D.C. I am not a bad person. There is a white guy with blue eyes just like Trump. He’s a Nazi. What did I do wrong?"
“At one point during the video I shot, he claims the man next to him I believe was a blond-haired, blue-eyed Nazi and just like Trump,” said Dale. “It was terrifying. I'm not Jewish myself, but after he was escorted off the flight, I was talking to other passengers who were Jewish and they were absolutely terrified. They didn’t want to identify themselves. They didn't know if this guy had a gun or anything. It's an airplane, but you still don’t know if you are fully safe. It’s a pretty tenuous time after what we saw in Pittsburgh.”
FOX 5 reached out to Toaff who says the incident was a misunderstanding. He had no other comment other than saying, "The reports that have been made public are completely inaccurate."
“It doesn’t excuse the fact that he scared a plane full of people and caused a scene in the Atlanta airport,” Dale said. “Regardless of what his intentions were, it was just interpreted in a really scary way.”
Toaff was charged with obstruction and disorderly conduct.