The captain wasn't having any of it and announced to the cabin that when a passenger is not compliant on the ground it never gets better in the air and we were going back to the gate and letting this gentleman get off this flight.
When we got back to the gate a security agent boarded and escorted him off the plane. He was on a business trip and his boss was on the flight. When he passed her in the aisle he shrugged his shoulders as if to say "What just happened?"
I don't know what happened to him. I do know he made over 200 fellow passengers almost an hour late getting to St. Louis, I know that he probably didn't get to St. Louis at all yesterday and I can't imagine this event would help to further his career with his employer. I also know that if warranted a passenger can be charged with a federal crime when taken off a plane.
And why? He didn't want to power down his phone! We can argue about some of the airline rules but we can't argue that the flight crew has discretion over who goes and who stays. And it's not in the airlines best interest to throw someone off the plane unless there's a good reason. We know the rules, if you can't comply, don't fly.