PHOENIX (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Two women were arrested after authorities said one of them spat at a passenger who asked them to stop using racial slurs in their conversation, sparking an argument that caused the flight out of Dallas-Fort Worth to be diverted. .
American Airlines said the flight was heading to Los Angeles when it was diverted to Sky Harbor International Airport around 5:15 p.m. Thursday due to an altercation on the flight.
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When the flight landed, Phoenix Police Department officers arrested Kelly Pichardo, 30, and Leeza Rodríguez, 29, both from the Bronx, New York, and said they verbally and physically assaulted other passengers and members of the police. crew.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said the women were using racial slurs when a passenger asked them to stop using the language. Pichardo allegedly spat at the man, who then began recording them. Fortune said Rodriguez then hit the man’s hand to prevent him from recording.
Rodríguez faces charges of assault and disorderly conduct and Pichardo faces a charge of disorderly conduct.
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American Airlines issued a statement regarding the incident:
While en route from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Los Angeles (LAX), American Airlines Flight 776 was diverted to Phoenix (PHX) as a result of an altercation with an in-flight customer. Upon arrival, the flight was greeted by local law enforcement who took out and arrested two people for verbally and physically assaulting other customers and members of the flight crew. Their behavior was disruptive and unacceptable, and they have been placed on the internal garbage list pending further investigation. We are continuing to investigate this incident and are working directly with affected customers to ensure their well-being. We thank our crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation.
The flight continued to Los Angeles and arrived without further incident.
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