Photo Credit: Mario Tama
American Airlines Flight Diverted As Fight Erupts Over Racial Slur
An American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Los Angeles had to be diverted to Phoenix due to an altercation between passengers.
A male passenger asked two female passengers, Kelly Pichardo, 30, and Leeza Rodriguez, 29, to stop using a racial slur.
According to Phoenix Police Sergeant Mercedes Fortune, “Kelly Pichardo became upset and allegedly spat at the male passenger who had asked her to stop using that language.”
“The male passenger then began to record the two women and that is when Leeza Rodriguez struck the man’s hand to keep him from recording the incident.”
After landing in Phoenix, Pichardo and Rodriguez, who are both from the Bronx, NY, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Pichardo was also charged with assault. The flight continued on to its destination of Los Angeles.
American Airlines spokesman Derek Walls said, “Upon arrival, the flight was met by local law enforcement who removed and arrested two individuals for verbally and physically assaulting other customers and flight crew members.”
“Their behavior was disturbing and unacceptable, and they have been placed on the internal refuse list pending further investigation.”
“We continue to investigate this incident and are working directly with impacted customers to ensure their well-being. We thank our crew members for their professionalism in managing a difficult situation.”