Francis Hit With Tranquilizer Dart By Swiss Guard Seconds After Putting Down Scripted Statement To Speak Off-Cuff
Pope Francis was hit with a tranquilizer dart this afternoon just moments after putting down a scripted speech to speak off-the-cuff with reporters on his flight to the U.S., officials are reporting.
In a 80-minute briefing to the media, a lighthearted Pope Francis began to speak “very candidly,” when the head of the Pope’s security team, reportedly realizing the havoc the off-the-cuff remark might have on the rest of the U.S. trip, discreetly glanced at another member of the security team and nodded. That’s when, one witness reported, the Holy Father was struck in the neck with the dart and “went down like a ton of bricks.”
“Pope Francis had just seconds earlier mentioned the words ‘do not judge;’ that’s when it happened,” said a reporter on the papal flight. “He immediately stopped talking, felt the dart in his neck, and just dropped.”
Another witness reported seeing a number of officials quickly whisking the Pope’s limp body away to private section of the plane. The dart was removed shortly thereafter, and the groggy Pontiff awoke and found himself shackled to a post away from the media for the remainder of the trip.