After two hours of berating and haranguing Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. on a flight from Milwaukee to Charlotte, North Carolina, a Milwaukee man was arrested and charged with intoxication and disruptive behavior. According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesman Keith Trietley, Preston Bluntson (36) was arrested and booked on charges by local police when he landed at about 7:10 p.m. yesterday. He was held at the Mecklenburg County Jail.
According to witnesses on the American Airlines flight, Bluntson talked animatedly during the trip and continued to drink while becoming increasingly loud and abusive in his comments to Clarke, who was on the back of the commuter jet. The plane had 12 rows of seats on it. During the last 20 minutes of the flight, according to witnesses, Bluntson became increasingly abusive.
Bluntson is alleged to have repeatedly used a racist epithet while speaking to Clarke. Both Clarke and Bluntson are black Americans. Bluntson accused the sheriff of closing parks in the Milwaukee area and suggested that sheriff is “not one of us.”
Other passengers sought to distract and calm the increasingly voluble Bluntson, without success, the passenger said. A witness said that Clarke engaged Bluntson only once during the flight, when he told him to “shut up.” Passengers said the Clarke handled the situation professionally.
Once the plane landed in Charlotte, Clarke held Bluntson down long enough for a Charlotte police officer to come on board and arrest the Milwaukee resident. Bluntson was cuffed and taken away. Clarke then filled out a report on the incident. Four other officers met Bluntson at the gate.
Clarke is an outspoken admirer of Donald Trump, despite being a self-declared Democrat. He travels frequently to promote Trump's candidacy. Reportedly, he was on his way as a VIP guest at the Cheshire County Annual Republican Shoot at the Cheshire Fish & Game Club in Keene, New Hampshire.
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