An airline crew used duct tape to keep passenger in her seat because they say she became unruly, fighting flight attendants and grabbing other passengers, forcing the flight to land in North Carolina.
Maria Esther Castillo of Oswego, New York is due in court Thursday, charged with resisting arrest and interfering with the operations of a flight crew aboard United Airlines Flight 645, from Puerto Rico to Chicago.
Castillo, 45, struck a flight attendant on the buttocks with the back of her hand during Saturday’s flight, FBI Special Agent Peter Carricato said in a criminal complaint filed in US District Court in Charlotte. She also stood and fell onto the head of a blind passenger and later started pulling the person’s hair, the complaint stated.
Ankle cuffs kept slipping off Castillo, so the flight crew and two passengers were forced to use duct tape to her in her seat. She calmed as the pilot diverted the flight to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport but authorities boarded the plane to remove her, authorities said.
Carricato states that a passenger saw Castillo having drinks in an airport bar before boarding. She bought another drink on the plane. Flight attendants stopped serving her alcohol due to her behavior, the complaint states.
United spokesman Jeff Kovick said Wednesday that safety is the company’s top priority and that it’s cooperating with authorities.
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