Woman Charged After Violent Outburst on Chicago-Bound Flight

The 22-year-old had been on United Airlines Flight 3461 for about 30 minutes when she “frantically” approached a flight attendant

A 22-year-old woman faces charges after she allegedly became so unruly on a flight from New York to Chicago Thursday night she had to be hauled off the plane while bound by her hands and feet.

Breanna Farquharson had been on United Airlines Flight 3461 from New York’s LaGuardia Airport for about 30 minutes when she "frantically" approached a flight attendant and demanded to deplane, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.

When Farquharson was told she could not get off the plane while in the air, she ran to the back of the aircraft and confronted a second flight attendant, the complaint says.

Farquharson grabbed the crew member so violently, she ripped off her necklace and badge, leaving the crew member with a scratch on her upper lip, according to FBI agent Kyle Dodge in the criminal complaint.

Farquharson also allegedly attacked a passenger during the altercation, tearing at the passenger’s shirt collar and breaking a necklace.

Farquharson "began to scream and yell and then began to strike the flight attendant," said passenger Bob Fitzsimmons, who was sitting behind the woman. 

Officials said many of the 69 passengers on board rushed to help subdue the woman, but Farquharson remained so aggressive she had to be physically restrained using a passenger’s belt, a flight attendant’s apron and a second passenger’s necktie.

"There were times when I would just have one hand on her but then she would erupt and start screaming and yelling," Fitzsimmons said. "She had just a bloodcurdling scream, which was very unsettling."

Cellphone video taken by a passenger shows police carrying Farquharson down the aisle after the plane made an emergency landing at Detroit Metro Airport at 8:15 p.m.

One officer can be seen holding the woman's bound hands while the other officer holds her bound feet. Some passengers applaud as she's taken off the plane.

The flight resumed its journey to Chicago's O'Hare Airport around 9:45 p.m.

Criminal records show the 22-year-old was arrested in July on misdemeanor assault charges in Mount Vernon, New York.

Farquharson was expected to face a judge in federal court Friday, but she was removed from court and taken to the hospital for being disruptive, officials said.

She has been charged with one count of interfering with flight crew members and attendants. Attorney information for Farquharson wasn't immediately available. 

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