Naked man disrupts Virgin Australia flight, forces emergency landing

Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A naked man caused a Virgin Australia flight to return to the airport after he was accused of running down the aisle and knocking down a flight attendant.

Police arrested the suspect at the airport on Tuesday. 

The incident happened early in what was scheduled to be a 3 hour and 30 minute Virgin Australia flight on Monday night from the west coast city of Perth to Melbourne on the east coast.

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Flight VA696 returned to Perth Airport due to a "disruptive passenger," an airline statement said.

Australian Federal Police officers were waiting for the plane and "the disruptive guest was offloaded," Virgin said.

Police said "officers arrested a man after he allegedly ran naked through the aircraft mid-flight and knocked a crew member to the floor."

"The man was transferred to hospital for assessment, where he remains," a police statement said.

It was not clear how or where on the plane the passenger removed his clothes.

The airline apologized to "guests impacted," adding the safety of passengers and crew was its top priority.

Both the airline and police declined comment beyond their statements.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.