Potok Philippe, a 28-year-old self-styled social media influencer, was charged with mischief after he told fellow plane passengers, "Can I get everybody's attention please. I just came back from Hunan province, the capital of the coronavirus. I'm not feeling too well. Thank you." The plane made an emergency landing and Philippe was arrested.
From Metro UK:
He later said "it was simply a joke" and that he had hoped to go viral on Instagram with the prank, which saw him being escorted off the plane in a mask and gloves that airline staff made him wear. Potok was arrested and charged with mischief after the WestJet plane was forced to turn back and a second flight was also cancelled as a result. The aspiring musician, who calls himself Potok Philippe and has more than 30,000 Instagram followers, told City News in Toronto: "It would be something else if I said 'hey guys I have a bomb strapped to me, I have a weapon on me,' people blew it out of proportion. To me it was simply a joke. About mid-way through the flight I stood up, pulled my video camera out – I was going to post it to Instagram, send it to 6ixbuzz so it goes viral." He said he was shocked when nobody laughed and said within 15 minutes cabin crew staff were wearing masks and put him in a mask and gloves as well.
Philippe's remoreless, narcissistic self-promotion reminds me of the Imperial Stars, an execrable music group that shut down a major freeway in Los Angeles to play a set to a captive audience sitting in stalled cars.
WestJet flight to Jamaica was turned around halfway there when a 29 year old man announced that he had the Corona Virus … It appears to be a prank …250 passengers were standed in Toronto as well as others in Montego Bay , Jamaica pic.twitter.com/obscZav4FJ
— Gerald Frank (@drgeraldfg) February 4, 2020