Busta Rhymes Was Allegedly Escorted Off Flight After Arguing with Fellow Passenger Over Bin Space
The rapper "immediately became aggressive," according to a passenger who said they were on the flight
Rapper Busta Rhymes was allegedly escorted off a British Airways flight by London authorities on Monday after he had an argument with a fellow passenger about overhead bin space.
Rhymes — né Trevor George Smith Jr. — was boarding a flight from New York City to London’s Heathrow Airport when he wasn’t able to find space for all of his bags in the overhead compartments, a number of passengers claimed, according to multiple reports.
A rep for Rhymes had no comment when contacted by PEOPLE.
“The artist began getting irate,” one passenger, who did not identify themselves said on the frequent flyer forum FlyerTalk. The passenger claims his wife and the rapper got into an argument after the rapper, 47, then told the woman to “move your stuff” out of the overhead bin.
“He was towering over my wife’s seat and she was terrified,” the unnamed passenger alleged in the forum, adding that when he reportedly told Rhymes to leave his wife alone, the rapper allegedly replied, “Then let’s go, homeboy.”
Another forum member who said they were on the flight claimed that they had seen “a woman start to cry,” adding that “the situation escalated very quickly.”
Passengers also made similar allegations to The Daily Mail saying the star got upset as the woman was using his overhead locker and told a man they would talk about it when they landed in London. The pilot came out to de-escalate the situation, a witness alleged to the Mail.
“Someone remarked to the captain that Busta was the only person behaving aggressively, which prompted him to make a speech trying to justify his behavior,” the witness told the publication.
“He explained that he had a ‘hard life’ and that he wasn’t trying to threaten the passenger with violence, instead claiming that he just wanted to talk to him to sort out the issue once they had landed.”
A video obtained by the Mail that appears to be taken after the verbal altercation shows Rhymes talking calmly but clearly annoyed with another passenger and also an employee.
In the footage, the rapper can be heard saying, “Now the thing that’s getting out of hand is you’re gonna patronize me when I’m out here talking about the powers that be.”
“Keep looking at me, laughing in my face. We’re all grown,” he adds. “There’s no reason for you to be jumping involuntarily, including yourself in this discussion that had nothing to do with you.”
The involved parties calmed down and the flight left with the rapper and the couple aboard, the publication reports.
However, at the request of a passenger, London police met the plane at the gate when it arrived at Heathrow Airport, a forum member claimed.
The Daily Mail reports that Rhymes was escorted off the plane by British authorities but was not arrested in the airport.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed to the outlet that “Officers at Heathrow were requested by the airline of an inbound plane to Heathrow Airport from the US to attend following an alleged verbal altercation involving several passengers.”
“They boarded the plane once it had landed at approximately 6:52am on Tuesday 30 July and spoke to the parties involved,” the statement continued. “There were no reported injuries, and no offenses disclosed. The passengers concerned then proceeded with their journeys.”
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Officials with London’s Metropolitan Police Service did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In a statement to PEOPLE, British Airways explained that the “cabin crew and Captain reassured all the customers involved” after the incident.
“All those in the cabin were given the option of moving away, and the flight did not depart until everyone confirmed that they were happy to continue,” the British Airways rep added.