On Monday, we reported on a video shot by a passenger aboard a United Airlines flight from Shanghai bound for New York that starred a Chinese man throwing an epic tantrum and eventually being literally dragged, kicking and screaming, from the airplane by police. Well, turns out that the guy is a professor at an American university.
Tencent reports that before takeoff in Shanghai, Lu Yong asked flight staff for an upgrade to first class for the long trip to New York. After his request was denied, Lu decided to just take matters into his own hands and sneak into first class and take a free seat.
When he was found out, Lu was eventually forced to retreat back into the economy section, but snatched a bottle of champagne on the way and caused quite the commotion, so much so that the pilot asked him to leave the plane. Lu refused.
Some 30 minutes later, police arrived to esort Lu off the plane. However, he had other ideas, choosing instead to lie down in the middle of the aisle, refusing to be budged.
According to a Shanghaiist reader who was on the flight and uploaded the video onto YouTube, the police said that they weren’t allowed to cuff someone that was “mentally ill” and they were completely unable to get control of the crazed man. The crew then came to the rescue with some plastic zip-tie style cuffs which were snapped around Lu’s hand and feet.
After that, police were able to successfully drag Lu off the plane with the help of some fellow passengers. In the process, he injured three of the officers with some kicks and was immediately detained for ”disrupting public service,” a charge that can result in a maximum of three years in jail.
Here’s the video again:
Initial speculation online was that Lu was a well-known professor at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu. Turns out, that was only partially true. Lu did hold a position as a guest lecturer at the university since August — which he was fired from on Tuesday — but his other gig is as an assistant professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State University.
An online resume belonging to Yong Lu, also known as Eric Lu, reveals that the man has been an assistant professor on track for tenure at Penn State University since 2007. Lu received a B.A. in economics from Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in 1994, and later received a Doctor of Philosophy from Ohio University in 2006.
Belying his image as a crazed individual, Lu’s resume is quite lengthy, and contains a long list of professional experiences, publications, grants and awards. He also enjoys a respectable 3.7 score on Rate My Professor, though he wasn’t rated as “hot.”
While he was being escorted off the plane, Lu was also heard shouting to police that he is an American citizen, not Chinese.
Either way, Lu joins the ranks of other infamous Chinese travelers in recent years who have gained notoriety for acting out while traveling. Starting back in April, Beijing began to crackdown on misbehaving tourists by putting them on a travel blacklist.
We’ll have to wait and see what lies in store for Lu.
By Stanley Yu