A District man who was arrested Wednesday after reportedly asking all Jewish people on a Delta Air Lines flight to identify themselves was released Thursday after spending the night in jail.
A video taken by a passenger who had been on the Delta flight showed a man later identified as Toaff shouting and trying to run from three officers as they took him into custody at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“I’m not a bad person,” Toaff is heard saying.
“Nobody said you’re a bad person,” one of the officers replied.
In the video, Toaff is wearing what appears to be a Jewish prayer shawl known as a tallit.
Toaff declined to comment about the incident.
Jordan Dale, 22, of Arlington, said the plane was dark and quiet when a man’s voice boomed out in the cabin.
“It was about 15 seconds of him screaming, asking all Jews to raise their hands and identify themselves,” Dale said. “It was scary.”
Dale said the man was reported to flight attendants midflight and police were waiting at the gate when the plane touched down.
It was not immediately clear what prompted the outburst.
“I just don’t think it’s ever a good idea to ask Jews to identify themselves — it feels too much like shades of 1930s, 1940s Germany,” Dale said. “Everyone was pretty shocked.”
This story has been updated.