Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Report: Woman dragged off plane refused bag check, ID



When a 40-year-old Metro Detroit woman was pulled off a San Diego-bound plane this month at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and the incident was caught on video and shared online, it made national news.

A police report on the incident sheds more light on what happened on Dec. 12.

The passenger was aboard Delta flight 2083 from Metro Airport to San Diego. The plane was at gate A7, set to depart at 8:32 a.m. The passenger was assigned seat 24D.

A gate agent with Delta told responding officers that the passenger would need to have her bag checked, according to the police report from the incident, obtained by The Detroit News by way of a Freedom of Information Act request.

Police say she refused to do so and boarded the plane “without swiping her boarding pass,” prompting the gate agent to call security and have the passenger removed.

In a statement to Wayne Metro Airport Police Department, the gate agent wrote that the passenger “told me that she was not checking her bag, and went on board the aircraft,” adding later in the statement that the passenger “did not scan boarding pass, and we had no idea who she was.”

Two officers with Airport Police, Ronald Boyce and Gregory Henry, arrived on scene, and the gate agent pointed out the passenger on the plane.

According to the report, Henry asked the passenger to grab her things and come with him, as there was a problem. Police say the passenger said she would neither come along nor check her bag. After the passenger was told that Delta had revoked her flight privileges, the passenger said “(expletive) you” and continued, multiple times, to refuse to leave the aircraft, according to the report.

Henry told Boyce to have the airline stop boarding passengers, and requested to supervisor to join them at the scene. A sergeant soon arrived, along with a manager with Delta.

The manager, the sergeant and the two officers re-entered the plane. Continued talks proved fruitless, according to the report, and Henry told the woman that “if she had to be physically removed from the aircraft she could be placed under arrest.”

The response? “I don’t give a (expletive),” according to the report.

In a statement to Airport Police, the Delta manager wrote: “I approached passenger and asked her to please give me her boarding pass to mark her on board. Passenger refused. ... I asked her what happened and she said she scanned herself on board. Agent stated she did not. I asked (the) passenger to please exit the aircraft, which she didn’t comply.”

After the sergeant told the passenger that she “would just need to leave the aircraft to swipe her boarding pass,” police say the passenger stood up, but sat back down when she noticed officers grabbing her bags. Henry wrote that he “pleaded with (the passenger) many times to exit the aircraft because she will not be flying on this flight,” but police say the woman refused.

Henry and the sergeant grabbed the woman “by her upper arms and lifted her from the seat.” The woman, who weighs 330 pounds according to the report, “resisted by falling to the floor and refused to get up.” She would not walk herself, so Boyce grabbed her by her wrists. At one point he stopped and asked her if she’d prefer to walk, and she refused, so he continued to pull her until they made it to the front of the plane, where she was pulled off the plane and “onto the jet bridge,” according to the report.

Again, Henry asked if the woman wanted to get off the floor, and again he was told no, according to the report. Another officer arrived to make the arrest. The men had called for backup, but this time when they asked the woman if she wanted to walk, she said yes. Backup was canceled, the woman was searched and handcuffed, and Henry went back to get witness statements.

Back at the lock-up facility Airport Police use, the passenger was cited for disorderly conduct, failure to obey the police, and failure to leave an aircraft, and told to contact 34th District Court, where her case would be handled.

The passenger, who is not being named because she has not yet been arraigned, is due in court for an arraignment and pre-trial hearing on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m., a court staffer said.

Story, video and comments: http://www.detroitnews.com

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