Tarek El Moussa Helped Break Up Fight with 'Unruly Passenger' Who 'Charged' Crew on JetBlue Flight: Source

The HGTV star stepped in after a fellow flyer acted out following an hours-long delay and an announcement everyone would need to deplane

Tarek El Moussa stepped in to help deescalate an altercation between an unruly passenger and crew on a recent JetBlue flight.

The HGTV star's wife, Selling Sunset realtor Heather Rae El Moussa, 34, previously teased on her Instagram Story that Tarek, 40, had been a "hero" on their flight out of New York's JFK airport. On Tuesday, a source shared details of the onboard face-off, which occurred around midnight on Monday, with PEOPLE.

After the couple and their fellow passengers finally boarded the plane after about nine hours of delays, "The pilot announced that they would not be flying as the crew had timed out," the source said. "At that time, a highly intoxicated, unruly passenger aggressively charged up the aisle toward the pilot and flight attendants at the front of the plane, verbally and physically assaulting them."

That's when, the source says, the Flipping 101 host stepped in. "While everyone was in shock, Tarek took it upon himself to intervene and to prevent the situation from escalating," the source added. "Tarek got in between the hostile passenger and the crew, and physically escorted him off the plane. Afterwards, the flight attendants and pilot thanked him."

A representative for JetBlue did not immediately reply to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae El Moussa Travel Day
Heather Rae El Moussa/Instagram

Heather first shared a hint at the day's shocking turn on her Instagram Story: "I have a story for you," she wrote. "My husband did something very heroic when a man went crazy on our flight and verbally & physically got in flight attendants' & pilots' faces."

She added, "My husband was a hero tonight.'

The incident occurred at the end of a nightmare travel day for the couple, who are currently filming their new HGTV docu-series The Flipping El Moussas. They both documented on their respective Instagrams how their flight out of New York's JFK airport was delayed multiple times and eventually canceled. They also boarded and then deplaned once for an engine issue and again, hours later, after the flight crew timed out.

Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae El Moussa Travel Day
Heather Rae El Moussa/Instagram

Heather, who recently announced her first pregnancy, was struggling amidst all the delays. "I'm starving, I'm pregnant, I need my food," she said as they stopped at a restaurant at the airport after having to deplane.

"Oh it's been a long day," Tarek said to the camera as they got ready to go to sleep back in a hotel, "what can go wrong will go wrong."

Tarek also noted, "We're gonna do this all over again tomorrow, wish us luck."

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