Police won't charge an unruly passenger removed from a JetBlue flight from New York to San Diego
Plane diverted to Denver for about an hour
Last Updated: 314 days ago
SAN DIEGO - An unruly passenger who caused a New York to San Diego JetBlue flight to be diverted and was removed from the plane, will not be charged, Denver police said Friday.
Passengers told KMGH-TV, 10News' sister station in Denver, that the female passenger became irate when a male passenger was moved to a seat next to her in the plane's premium section without paying extra. Passengers said the man was moved to the front of the plane either because his TV monitor wasn't working or because he needed more leg room.
The woman started arguing with the flight crew, and a federal air marshal intervened and that's when the flight was diverted, according to passengers.
On Friday, Denver police said, via Twitter, that they chose not to charge the woman. Officers did a records check on the woman, found she had no warrants and then escorted her from the concourse. She wasn't identified.
Denver police spokesman Lt. Matt Murray said the airline told police the woman was being uncooperative and verbally abusive with the man moved to her row.
Yet, because neither JetBlue nor the male passenger wanted to press charges, Murray said police used their discretion to not charge the woman. A disruptive passenger can be charged with a federal offense of interfering with a flight crew or a misdemeanor state offense of disturbing the peace.
It's unclear whether the woman, who was on JetBlue Flight 185 flying from New York to San Diego when it was diverted, was left stranded in the middle of the country or if she was allowed to catch a different flight.
According to a Denver International Airport spokeswoman Laura Coale, the Airbus A320 with 137 passengers landed in Denver at 7:15 p.m.
Photos from KMGH-TV show a woman being escorted to an area of Concourse A, where she was questioned by uniformed Denver police officers. The woman was pulling her carry-on luggage with her. Police radio traffic said she was 42 years old and seated in the second row of the plane.
FlightAware air tracking showed the plane's normal flight path diverted over eastern Nebraska.
Passengers re-boarded and the plane left DIA at 9:29 p.m., heading to San Diego.
Once the plane landed, 10News spoke with passengers about their experience.
"I mean, she was just very aggressive and belligerent and so upset over the whole situation, swearing at everyone around her, the passengers, the stewardesses, yelling things like, 'My dad is in the CIA!' It just went out of control so quickly," said one passenger who sat across the aisle from the woman. "There's clearly something going on with her … It was out of control."
"She got mad about leg space, I don't really know, but she went crazy and started screaming; it was an adventure," said another passenger.
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