Thursday, July 2, 2009
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Plane diverted to Albuquerque after passenger disrobes mid-flight
July 2, 2009
A passenger stripped naked during a US Airways flight and resisted a flight attendant's efforts to cover him with a blanket before two off-duty law enforcement officers on board subdued and handcuffed him, authorities said Wednesday.
Keith Wright, 50, of the Bronx in New York, was taken into custody after he disrobed while sitting in his seat in the back of Flight 705 on Tuesday evening, authorities said. The plane was carrying about 148 passengers from Charlotte to Los Angeles, the airline said.
Wright was unresponsive when a flight attendant asked him to put his clothes back on, said Dan Jiron, a spokesman for the Albuquerque airport. "She asked him on more than one occasion to put on his clothes. She covered him with a blanket and he took that off," Jiron said.
Wright punched and kicked the flight attendant, who asked two off-duty law officers for help, according to a criminal complaint. A Los Angeles police officer and sheriff's deputy helped the flight attendant subdue and handcuff Wright before the flight landed, Jiron said.
The flight attendants also were dealing with an unrelated onboard medical emergency at the same time, which exacerbated the situation, the FBI said. The aircraft was diverted because of the medical emergency, and Wright's actions were a secondary reason for the unplanned landing, the complaint said.
Wright is in federal custody on a federal charge of interfering with flight crewmembers and attendants. He is expected to appear in federal court in Albuquerque on Thursday.