Man who forced Jamaica bound flight to turn back apologizes

28-year-old James Potok

A 28-year-old Canadian man who caused a WestJet flight headed to Jamaica to turn around and fly back to Toronto has apologized.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) James Potok of Vaughan, Ontario said that he had not intended to cause panic but claims he was trying to create a viral video.

Potok who claims he is an upcoming rap artist recounted his actions to the CBC.

According to Potok he never actually said he had the coronavirus.

Instead, Potok said mid-way through the flight, he turned on his camera and asked for everybody’s attention.

Potok told the passengers on board WS 2702 that he just returned from visiting Hunan province. 

The centre of the coronavirus outbreak is actually Wuhan; it is located in Hubei province.

He further told the group of 243 passengers that he didn’t feel too well.

Potok said the plane full of people did not look too happy following his announcement, so he sat back down and stopped recording.

When asked by the CBC, why he performed this stunt, he said: “Well, it was really just to create a viral video, to get something that, in my opinion, would have gone onto 6ixbuzz,” a popular Toronto social media site.

Potok said he wanted to create a video that viewers would watch and share.

According to Potok, he had done something similar before which had gone viral.