Both will be held in custody while police investigate whether security breach caused incident
A US flight heading from San Francisco to New York was diverted to the Chicago airport after a passenger attacked a flight attendant, authorities said.
The American Airlines flight was making its way to LaGuardia airport in New York on Sunday afternoon when the altercation occurred. Police said they arrested the passenger at Midway airport, the facility in Chicago where planes touch down after their transatlantic flights.
FBI agent Kyle Loven said it was unclear if the security breach caused the violent encounter between the passenger and the flight attendant.
“It appears at this point to be just an unfortunate incident between two individuals,” Loven said.
A second passenger asked a flight attendant to throw something at the passenger seated next to him, according to an FBI agent in Chicago. A woman seated next to the man opened her seat belt, the agent said. The plane returned to San Francisco and landed in Chicago about two hours after leaving the airport.
FBI spokeswoman Joan Hyde said both passengers would be held in custody while police investigate the security breach that caused the violent confrontation.
“It was a very minor security breach,” Hyde said. “[The passenger] was extremely irate. The flight attendant was trying to restrain him at one point. … People got upset as a result of that.”
Authorities said the man and the flight attendant suffered minor injuries.