Police take passenger off Northwest flight after altercation
Associated Press. May 19
MINNEAPOLIS - A Northwest Airlines flight crew subdued an unruly passenger on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis on Friday, an airport spokesman and a witness said.
The woman, who is from the Twin Cities area, got into a confrontation with a Danish couple about an hour to an hour and a half before landing, said Pat Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
The flight crew intervened and separated the couple and the woman, who was flying with a female companion, Hogan said.
"It sounds like there had been some tension that had been building between the couples," Hogan said.
There were no immediate arrests and everybody was released, Hogan said. The FBI is investigating because it was an international flight, and will report next week to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which will decide on any charges, he said.
Maria Pyle, of Apple Valley, a passenger on the flight, said the woman ripped the man's shirt during the incident. The flight crew then detained the woman in the back of the plane and moved the couple to the front, Pyle said.
"When we landed we were told we had to stay in our seats," Pyle said. Six airport police officers came onto the plane. They first took the couple off the plane, then the woman and her traveling companion, and 12 witnesses, Pyle said. "We had to stay in our seats another 15 minutes before they would let us get up and get off the plane."
Northwest Flight 45 landed as scheduled just after 3 p.m.
Hogan said the names of the people involved in the altercation were not available, but he said he understood the Danish couple was coming here for a medical conference.
A Northwest spokeswoman said the matter had been turned over to law enforcement and that the airline had no further comment.
[Edited 2006-05-20 17:47:01]