27 June, 2017
A statement from the airline read that the captain of flight 4519 chose to land at Corpus Christi International Airport after the crew became concerned about the behavior of one of the passengers. Photo courtesy of Cleveland ISD Police Department.
One of the passengers told KHOU a fellow passenger was acting unusual before she even boarded the plane at LAX Sunday morning.
He says the woman was pacing back and forth along the aisle and not following instructions from crew before she reached for the door.
Kirsty Gillentine wrote that an off-duty police officer had stopped an "erratic passenger from allegedly trying to open emergency exit". "I'm not sure how she got on the plane".
Witnesses said the woman "tore off" parts of the emergency exit door when she tried to force it open.
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Other passengers on the plane report that an off-duty police officer named Pamela Minchew and a male passenger took down the disruptive person and restrained her for the remainder of the flight.
"She had no choice but to identify herself as a law enforcement officer and take immediate action", he said. "If she hadn't acted so quickly, things could have gone very differently".
The plane landed without incident and local officers met the jet at the gate "and removed the disruptive passenger", Southwest said in the statement.
Passengers were delayed more than five hours in Corpus Christi - though they were allowed to leave the plane - eventually taking off at 5 p.m. and arriving an hour later at Hobby Airport.
It is undersood the passenger was questioned by authorities but has not been formally charged.