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Man Who Brandished Butter Knife on SFO-Bound Flight Faces Cocaine Charge

MINNEAPOLIS (CBS SF) -- A New York man who disrupted a New York to San Francisco flight last weekend, acting bizarre and brandishing a butter knife, was arrested in Minneapolis Thursday for alleged possession of over 24 grams of cocaine.

According to court documents released by the Minneapolis office of the FBI, on May 16, Jet Blue Airlines flight 915 from New York to San Francisco had to be diverted to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport because a male passenger was acting erratically and causing a disturbance.

The man, later identified as 42-year-old New York resident Mark Anthony Scerbo caused a commotion during the flight. Witnesses said Scerbo threw the meal that was served in flight onto the floor and started walking up and down the aisle brandishing a butter knife provided with the in-flight meal in his fist.

He was snorting white powder at his seat, witnesses said. He allegedly had a bag containing a white powdery substance on his seat tray, which a flight attendant spotted, retrieved and later gave to police.

A flight attendant said Scerbo was acting aggressively, singing out loud and making yoga-like movements in people's faces, according to court documents. The woman seated next to him said Scerbo claimed he was Genghis Khan and accused her of being in the CIA. Other people said Scerbo talked about nanobots and angels.

Scerbo harassed his seat neighbor enough that she asked to be moved and told the flight attendant that he might be dangerous. Other passengers also reported him making multiple trips to the bathroom, sniffing the white powder at his seat and having powdery residue on his face, mustache and clothes.

At one point, when asked if he was on drugs he replied, "Of course not! Look my in the third eye!"

After the flight landed, MSP Airport Police detained Scerbo and took custody of the bag of white powdery substance, which field tested positive for cocaine and weighed 24.5 grams. According to court documents, Scerbo claimed the white powder was the muscle-building supplement creatine.

Scerbo has been charged with one count of possession of cocaine, according to the FBI. If convicted, he faces a maximum of three years in prison and a minimum fine of $5,000. The FBI is investigating the case.

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