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Biting woman ‘rushed at cockpit until taped to seat’

February 5, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Cabin crew have restrained a frenzied passenger, binding her to her seat with duct tape, after she allegedly bit and kicked flight attendants in a wild bid to reach the cockpit during landing.

The bizarre incident occurred on American Airlines flight 1033 from Dallas, Texas to Charlotte, North Carolina last week.

As the plane was just minutes from touching down, a woman inexplicably sprang from her seat and charged towards the cockpit, forcing busy flight attendants to restrain her with plastic handcuffs and duct tape, documents say. The woman is accused of biting cabin crew who tried to stop her.

A criminal complaint against Charlene Sarieann Harriott, filed by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, alleges Harriott, who was sitting in the last row, suddenly sprinted towards the front of the plane, ignoring shouts from crew to sit down.

Crew gave chase and a battle took place at the front of the plane in the first class section. There are 16 first class seats on the aircraft (American uses a B737-800 on the route) and it seems first class passengers got more than they bargained for during the landing. The complaint says Harriott, 36, “became more aggressive and physically violent”, biting a crewmember’s arm, hitting a second one and kicking another in the leg and stomach.

After landing, Harriott was taken into custody. She is being held at the Mecklenburg County Jail in North Carolina on three counts of assault and battery and she will remain there pending a hearing this week.

The photo of the suspect shown above was issued by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. If Harriott ends up being charged with interfering with and/or assaulting flight crew and attendants, those are federal offences in the US, carrying penalties of heavy fines and/or up to 20 years in prison.

Coincidentally, American Airlines said recently it would require nearly 68,000 employees to take classes on how to quell conflicts with passengers. A new “de-escalation” video and web-based training program have been based on the experiences of American’s airport agents, flight attendants, pilots and reservation representatives, the Greensboro Business Journal reported.

Written by Peter Needham

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