A plane headed to Chicago from New York City was diverted to Detroit Thursday evening when a passenger became abusive and unruly, prompting authorities to haul her off the plane with her hands and feet bound, officials say and cellphone video shows.
The United Airlines flight took off from LaGuardia Airport when it made the emergency landing at Detroit Metropolitan Airport at about 8:15 p.m., according to airline officials.
A 22-year-old woman on the plane had become disruptive, demanding to get off the plane and attacking several passengers, according to Detroit Metro Airport Police spokesman Michael Conway and the FBI.
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In a court filing, the FBI said the woman, identified as Breanna Farquharson scratched a flight attendant's lip and pulled a necklace and employee badge off her after she "frantically requested'' to get off the plane, 30 minutes into the flight.
Farquharson was restrained with a belt, necktie and apron, according to the FBI.
Cellphone video taken by a passenger who wanted to remain anonymous showed police carrying her down the aisle to bring her off the plane, one officer holding the woman's bound hands and the other officer holding her bound feet. Some passengers applaud as she's taken off the plane, the video shows.
Police said the woman may have been suffering from a medical condition. Conway said other passengers on the plane indicated they wanted to press charges against her.
The plane carrying 69 passengers and 4 crew members continued to to O'Hare Airport at about 9:45 p.m. and arrived about an hour late.
No one answered the door at Farquharson's Mount Venon, New York home Friday.
The FAA received thousands of complaints about disruptive passengers from 2001 through 2014, but only 11 percent were prosecuted, NBC Bay Area has reported.
"It's a rare occurrence in terms of the number of flights, but it's a growing problem," said Perry Flint of the Air Transportation Association.
Fliers at LaGauardia has mixed reactions.
"They absolutely should be prosecuted," said Mary Snider. "They have cost the airlines money and caused people distress. It's the wrong thing to do."
Jennifer Conklin said, "I think it depends on the situation. Why is she unruly?"