An American tourist overdosed on Viagra and was wrestled to the ground at an airport in Thailand as he walked around naked.

Steve Cho strolled through the departure hall of Phuket International Airport in the nude as he destroyed goods and yelled incoherently. The 27-year-old, from New York, is said to have thrown his own faeces at staff before being stopped by six security guards and airport staff.

Cho was arrested by the airport's tourist police at 11.30pm Thursday (4 January), The Mirror reported.

"This was the scariest and most disgusting thing I ever saw at an airport. I stayed away form the man in case he attacked anybody," said bystander Wannee Ming, 28.

Ming continued: "The airport staff tried to make him calm down. They were talking to him but he ignored them. It was very bad. The airport did a good job to control him."

Video of the incident show airport staff trying to talk to Cho, but he just struts away from them.

"To control the situation and to prevent any danger that might happen to other passengers, the officers had to arrest the man," a statement from Phuket International Airport said.

"The officers brought him to the walkway on the north side of the terminal to avoid other passengers and managed to calm him down at the tourist centre on the first floor."

Authorities said Cho admitted while he was detained that he had taken too many Viagra pills and had "lost consciousness". Cho reportedly apologised for his outburst and agreed to pay for any damages he caused.

"He accepted responsibility to reimburse for any damages that he caused," the airport's statement continued. "His trip to Incheon was cancelled and he was brought to Saku Police Station for further investigation.

"However, we would like to insist that the officers did not harm the man when arresting him and a strict code of conduct was followed.

"All of the security officers are well trained, following international standards, and work alongside local police, tourist police, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the AOT, consuls and embassies."

After being taken to the local police station, Cho was sent to hospital for medical checks and a routine psychiatric assessment.