An American Airlines flight was forced to land when a woman allegedly attempted to storm the cockpit in pursuit of an alcoholic drink.
American Eagle Flight 3444 made an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Wednesday, after the in-flight incident, according to the New York Post.
The flight was originally destined for Washington, D.C., traveling from Jacksonville, Florida.
“At approximately 3:41 p.m., flight AA 3444 departing Jacksonville to Washington, DC, diverted to RDU due to a disruptive passenger,” airport officials told CNN in a statement.
Passenger Kara Rosario described a scene of “panic” and “frustration” as the traveler created a commotion on board the flight, speaking in an interview with WTVD-TV.
“You could tell there was other individuals that were ready to kind of step up and help,” Rosario described.
“Subject is currently loose in the cabin, loose in the cabin, and he has tried to breach the cockpit,” one law enforcement officer described in air traffic channels during the incident.
The suspect in the incident, Tiffany Miles, was arrested and charged with a count of airport obstruction after the plane landed, according to WRAL-TV.
However, she’s denying that she attempted to enter the cockpit — a major breach of aviation safety protocol.
Miles admitted that she engaged in an argument with a flight attendant after being informed that in-flight alcoholic beverages weren’t being served.
Miles said that passengers and staff assumed she was going for the cockpit when she got up from her first-class seat to use the restroom.
“I have anxiety,” Miles told WRAL in an interview.
“So, sometimes I need a cocktail to cool off and calm down.”
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said he had been briefed about the aviation safety incident in a Wednesday tweet — classified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Level 4 flight disruption.
FAA leadership has briefed me on today’s flight diversion due to a Level 4 disruption on board. Thankful to all who helped ensure its safe arrival. As always, safety is our main concern and our top priority. https://t.co/P69GWvI7C3
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) February 23, 2023
The FBI interviewed Miles, WRAL reported, but she isn’t currently facing any federal charges. The agency is actively investigating the flight incident.
CNN reported Miles was initially charged with a misdemeanor, but the news outlet said those charges have since been dismissed.
“The dismissal of the charges does not preclude further action by the appropriate federal agencies,” according to a statement from the airport.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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