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American Airlines flight diverted after passenger allegedly punches flight attendant

By Tomas Monzon
American Airlines flight diverted after passenger allegedly punches flight attendant
A woman caused an American Airlines flight to be diverted to Indianapolis on Sept. 14, 2015 after she allegedly became unruly and hit a passenger and a flight attendant. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- A passenger on board American Airlines Flight 1284 allegedly punched a fellow passenger and a flight attendant Monday, forcing the plane to divert to Indianapolis, airline officials said.

The flight was en route from Miami to Chicago when the incident happened. The passenger allegedly became unruly at around 5:30 p.m., at which point she was detained at the rear of the aircraft. During her detainment, the woman allegedly punched another passenger, then kissed and punched a flight attendant.

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Jeff Dutton, communications manager at the Indianapolis Indianapolis Airport, told Indy Star the pilot decided to divert the plane to Indianapolis. When the plane touched down in Indianapolis at about 6 p.m., police boarded the plane and escorted the unruly passenger away.

The woman, whose name wasn't released, was jailed in Marion County and faces several charges including battery, criminal recklessness, disorderly conduct and disrupting the operation of an aircraft.

Los Angeles resident Jim Saviano recorded video of the woman being escorted away. As she is walking forward, her head is fixed towards the back of the plane until a police officer shoves her head forward. Other passengers on board can be seen taking cell phone images and video of the incident.

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Though not seen in the video, the Indianapolis Airport Authority also said the woman allegedly kicked an airport police officer during her arrest.

Saviano says the pilot used the airplane's address system to ask large male volunteers to help restrain the woman.

Flight 1284 ultimately departed for Chicago again at around 7:06 p.m.

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