Passenger’s disturbance diverts flight to Detroit Metro

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Detroit Metro Airport police arrested a female passenger Thursday after she caused a disturbance on board, forcing her flight to be diverted to Michigan.

“Shuttle America flight 3461, operating as United Express from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, diverted to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Thursday night due to a disruptive passenger,” a representative wrote in an email to The Detroit News.

“The Embraer 170 carrying 69 passengers and four crew members landed normally in Detroit, where law enforcement removed the passenger from the aircraft.”

The flight landed in Romulus about 8 p.m., said Brian Lassaline, a spokesman for Metro Airport.

Details about the incident were not available, but WDIV-TV (Channel 4) reported the woman allegedly assaulted another passenger and had to be restrained.

Video footage the station obtained showed authorities carrying the woman through the plane’s main aisle while other passengers applauded.

The woman, who has not been named, remained in custody early Friday, Lassaline said. FBI officials are investigating the incident.

The diverted flight reached O’Hare about an hour and three minutes late, according to the United website.

Meanwhile, Detroit Metro faced another situation earlier Thursday night when a suspicious bundle left at the North Terminal curb sparked a brief lockdown, Lassaline said. Airport police investigated, determined it was a bag of books, and “operations resumed relatively quickly,” he said.