Passenger Takes Magic Mushrooms Before Take-Off. Here's What Happened Next.

Man causes chaos in midair.

A man who consumed hallucinogenic magic mushrooms before boarding a plane this month faces assault charges for attacking two United Airlines flight attendants, USA Today reports. Read on to find out what else he did and said on the flight—and what the ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms does to the brain that could have caused the man's decidedly unique case of air rage.

Disturbing Behavior, Clapping Alleged

united airlines airplane in flight
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On Oct. 4, Cheurry Loghan Sevilla of Houston, Texas, boarded a flight from Miami to Washington, D.C. About one hour after takeoff, Sevilla allegedly "yelled, exhibited disturbing/uncontrolled behavior, and assaulted at least two individuals," court documents said. Authorities said he grabbed another passenger's arm and began "running up and down the aisle, clapping loudly near the cockpit and yelling obscenities." 

Melee Turns Friendly Skies Chaotic


According to court documents filed in Virginia on Wednesday, Sevilla broke off part of the airplane's toilet door while a passenger was inside. When flight attendants tried to usher him back to his seat, Sevilla's "screams and outburst grew louder." He then grabbed a flight attendant's breast and twisted another attendant's arm during a struggle to subdue him. Sevilla was handcuffed for the remainder of the flight—during which he proceeded to "scream and yell incoherent things," the affidavit said. Sevilla was met by federal agents at the Washington airport and detained. Sevilla told the FBI he had taken magic mushrooms that contain the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, court documents said. 

What Is Psilocybin?


"Psychedelics are a class of hallucinogenic drugs ('hallucinogens') that produce mind-altering and reality-distorting effects, known as hallucinations, once ingested," wrote scientists in a 2021 study in the journal Molecules. "Hallucinations typically trigger delusions, emotional swings, feelings of detachment and derealization." Psilocybin "acutely alters the functional connectivity" of brain networks "that support perception, memory, and attention," the scientists wrote. However, the chemical is believed to be the safest of all hallucinogenics and has been studied as a treatment for depression and cancer-related discomfort. But, as Sevilla allegedly demonstrated, anyone can have a bad trip. 

"Not Totally Surprised He Acted This Way"


According to the court documents, Sevilla said he had taken the drug before. During the flight in question, he remembered "being out of his seat, being loud and touching people." "Sevilla said that he was not totally surprised that he acted this way after consuming it," officials said in the documents. "Sevilla stated that he was sorry for his actions." He has been charged with assault and with interfering with a flight crew and will appear in court next week. 

No Comment From the Accused's Attorney

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"Law enforcement met United flight 2116 upon arrival in Washington Dulles due to a disruptive customer," United Airlines told Metro UK. "The aircraft landed safely, proceeded to the gate and the customer was removed. We also followed up with our crew members to make sure they were OK. We'd like to thank our crew for handling this difficult situation with professionalism." Sevilla's attorney has not yet commented on the incident. 

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