5 N.J. Men Arrested in Mask Melee in Fort Lauderdale

By Kurt Stolz on 2 August 2021
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A Spirit Airlines aircraft at LaGuardia Airport in New York City

Five unruly passengers from New Jersey were arrested Friday night in Fort Lauderdale after being escorted off a Spirit Airlines flight after refusing to don face masks on the aircraft.

Passengers on trains, planes, and buses are required to wear face masks, under an executive order issued by President Joseph Biden shortly after his inauguration, as part of efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

After leaving the aircraft, the disruption continued inside Terminal 4 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport when deputies from the Broward Sheriff’s Office arrived.

Airline staff had asked the five, identified as William J. Lloyd, 53, Drake William Lloyd, 24, Michael A. Lloyd, 23, John Anthony Bruce, 24, and Matthew L. Novak, 24, to leave the aircraft over what the airline described as a “mask violation.”

The sheriff’s deputies had been summoned to escort the five out of the airport. Video shared on social media shows the men shouting profanities at the deputies and one, Drake William Lloyd, reportedly pushed a deputy and then his father, William Lloyd, got into a fight with another deputy in an attempt to get to his son.  Both men were charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct.

The other three men were arrested for disorderly conduct.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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