DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Spirit Airlines said its crew followed the appropriate protocol when two men were led off a plane in handcuffs after a scare in the air.READ MORE: Florida Lawmakers Tie National Anthem to Sports Money
Now, the Broward Sheriff’s Office says there was a misunderstanding and a miscommunication and one of the passengers and his attorney say it never should have happened.
Those men were later identified as 38-year-old Yaniv Abotbul and 18-year-old Kameron Goodroad. They will not be charged.
“I was in a big shock. When the police came inside the aircraft and just jumped on me,” said Abotbul. “Nobody told me what’s going on. Nobody told me why I’d been arrested and been treated like a criminal.”
Around 10:30 p.m., Spirit Airlines flight 596 took off from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport bound for Minneapolis. Approximately 15 minutes into the flight, the jet turned around and returned to the airport where it made an emergency landing.
Cell phone video by Margi Patton, a passenger on that flight, shows Abotbul and Goodroad being handcuffed and escorted off the plane.
“From what I understand from the woman sitting behind them, is that they placed a call shortly after the flight took off,” said Patton. “When we landed there were squad cars all around us, there was an ambulance behind the plane. I panicked because I have kids and I just wanted to get off. I wanted to be okay.”
“It’s only a week after the Paris attacks,” said Lindsay Connors. “To be honest it was a little scary getting on the flight today. You kind of look around you’re extra cautious.”
All 98 passengers and crew were evacuated and the sheriff’s office bomb squad searched the plane for explosives, none were found.
“I figured something was wrong I thought it was a mechanical issue,” said Samantha Koshiol. “As soon as I realized it was a bomb threat it got a little more scary.”
“I don’t think the terrorists should affect our day to day life and I would fly but having said that it is a very scary and hectic time in the world,” said Spencer Hennings.READ MORE: 'Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity,' Judge Accepts Opera Singer's Plea In Mar-a-Lago Breach From 2 Years Ago
The FBI interviewed both men, three passengers and two flight attendants. It was determined that there was no actual threat made to the flight, and that the incident was a result of miscommunication between the witness passengers, the flight crew and the pilot.
“A juvenile passenger observed a subject across the isle (sic) talking on a cell phone. She heard what she believed to be a conversation during which the subject made a remark about blowing up the plane. She told her mother who was seated by the window. The mother told a flight attendant who relayed the incident to the aircraft’s captain,” according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Abotbul was found to play no part in the incident. Goodman was released without charges.
“A misunderstanding is easy to understand when you are buying something but in this type of situation. They forced me. They treated me like a terrorist and it was really intense,” Abotul told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench..
“For the next five hours, law enforcement treated this citizen like a terrorist,” said Abotbul’s attorney Mark Eiglarsh. “In this case, the F.B.I. and law enforcement never apologized to him, realizing he had done absolutely nothing wrong…this is all about my client not wanting to be treated like a terrorist. They violated his civil liberties.”
Abotbul said he never made a phone call on the plane or spoke about a bomb.
“He had the unfortunate circumstance of being seated next to the other guy,” said Eiglarsh. “Two F.B.I. agents escorted him to the Spirit Airlines counter and said he was innocent and treat him like all the other passengers.”
A spokesman for Spirit Airlines said the airline followed the appropriate protocol for the safety of everyone on board adding: “The consequences of not acting or responding to a potential threat can be catastrophic once the plane is in the air.”
Abotbul though says he wants an apology.
“That’s the first thing I want from them. I was not doing anything wrong,” said Abotul.MORE NEWS: Pembroke Pines Police Investing Shooting At The Landings
Abotbul said he was refunded his fare to Minneapolis but not his return fare from Spirit. He said he had used Spirit Airlines regularly for his business trips but does not think he will fly with that airline again. The airline meanwhile said passengers should continue to report suspicious activity. Meanwhile, his attorney says he is considering legal action.