Irate passenger escorted off Spirit Airlines flight after meltdown
HOUSTON – A passenger who may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder was taken off a plane in Rochester, Minnesota on Monday, after the aircraft was diverted on a flight from George Bush Intercontinental to Minneapolis for a medical emergency.
Chianti Washington, of Stafford, was on the flight and shared video of the incident with Channel 2.
In the video, you can see the woman moving down the aisle, yelling and cursing. At one point, two men confront her -- possibly to calm her down.
When we interviewed Washington hours later via Skype, she was in tears.
"Just to be in that confined space when someone that is going through something very traumatic in their life and there's nothing you can do," Washington said. "There's nowhere you can go."
In the video, you see the 38-year-old woman make her way just outside the cockpit and hear passengers trying to calm each other.
Police officers eventually arrived and took the woman off the plane, but Washington said she did not go quietly -- yelling and screaming the whole way.
Washington also said the incident left her and most of the other passengers visibly shaken.
"You never know," she said. "They can have a breaking point at any moment and, you know, there are children on this flight and it just made me think of my 11-year-old son."
Washington said at least one flight attendant was crying after the incident and the rest of the attendants went up and down the aisle to hand out tissues to a number of passengers who were crying as well.
An hour after the incident the plane took off from Rochester to land in Minneapolis.
Rochester police said the woman, who is from Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, told another passenger that she was a military veteran and suffers from PTSD. She told the passenger that she panicked because she hadn't flown in a long time and the flight was diverted, police said.
The passenger who had the medical emergency was taken to a hospital.
After the woman was removed from the flight, she was free to go, police said.
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