An obsessed and apparently intoxicated Hootie and the Blowfish fan caused the band's
flight to make an unscheduled stop in Denver on Thursday, after the man allegedly
attacked the group's bodyguard and several flight attendants, pestered the group for
advice and autographs and claimed to be a member of the band when asked to return to
his seat, according to police.
The passenger, Amit Singh, 19, was removed from the plane and taken to Denver Health
Medical Center for evaluation after the incident, which resulted in an unplanned stop for
American Airlines Flight 133, which had been en route from New York to Los Angeles,
Denver police said.
Police spokeswoman Detective Virginia Lopez said officers responded to a call at 6 p.m.
Thursday from the flight crew, who were complaining of an intoxicated passenger that
the captain and crew wanted removed from the aircraft.
"Officers responded to the rear of the aircraft and contacted Amit Singh, who was in his
seat, crying ... Paramedics responded to this party because he was extremely
intoxicated," Lopez said. "Any criminal charges will be determined by the FBI, including
possible interference with the flight crew, and the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] will determine if civil charges will
be filed. No charges have been filed at this time."
An American Airlines spokeswoman confirmed that the flight made an unscheduled stop
in Denver but said she had no further information regarding the incident. The flight,
which was carrying 100 passengers, was delayed for about an hour, according to police.
Band manager Rusty Harmon said the scene turned ugly after Singh was removed from
the first-class section, where the band was seated, to the back of the plane. "The guy was
threatening to kill the flight crew and the pilot. It was nuts. I have to applaud the American
[Airlines] crew for how well they handled the situation," Harmon said.
"After the plane landed, we moved the band back away from the aisle and the guy was
taken off by six police officers and a paramedic," Harmon added. "The whole way, he
was kicking and screaming and trying to bite the officers. He was completely out of
Singh allegedly claimed to be a member of Hootie and the Blowfish as flight attendants
attempted to move him out of first class, Lopez said.
Singer Darius Rucker woke briefly as police were removing Singh from the plane but
didn't seem bothered by the incident, according to an Associated Press report.
"They were taking somebody out. I went back to sleep. I just wasn't really worried about
it," Rucker reportedly said.
Singh spent the night at Denver Health Medical Center, where he underwent a medical
evaluation and was discharged Friday morning (Sept. 18), according to hospital
spokeswoman Stephanie Denning. She added that Singh was not released to police
First catapulting into the spotlight with their multi-platinum debut, Cracked Rear
View (1994), which spawned such hits as "Hold My Hand" and "Only Wanna Be With
You," pop/blues/rock band Hootie and the Blowfish released their third LP, Musical
Chairs, on Tuesday.