A pilot called for large male passengers to help subdue a crazed, screaming and sweating woman who kissed a flight attendant and then suddenly punched her in the face.
The bizarre scenes took place aboard American Airlines flight 1284 from Miami to Chicago. The captain diverted the flight to Indianapolis after the female passenger went berserk.
The weird behaviour started well before that, with fellow passengers telling ABC News in the US that the woman was disoriented throughout the flight, pacing back and forth and unable to find her seat.
She allegedly started screaming and was seen to be sweating profusely. Her behaviour grew more unpredictable and erratic as the flight went on.
The woman allegedly screamed expletives repeatedly, started kicking the seat of a male passenger in front of her and then hit him when he turned to object.
In an attempt to calm the situation, a female flight attendant took the woman to the back of the plane. The offender seemed to calm down, but then, according to a witness, she seized the flight attendant by the face, “kissed her and then punched her in the face”.
At that point, the pilot used the plane’s public address system to ask fellow passengers for help – but not just any passengers.
“He just said large men,” another traveller said.
“He said I need large passengers to restrain another passenger.”
Whether any professional wrestlers were aboard is not known, but large men were about and the woman was escorted off the flight and arrested by police after the plane touched down.
She has been charged with disrupting the operation of an aircraft, battery against a public safety officer and disorderly conduct, all felonies carrying substantial prison sentences. The accused also faces misdemeanour counts of assault and battery, resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness.
Written by Peter Needham