Passengers tie up, hold down unruly passenger on diverted Detroit flight

Photo Courtesy: Bob Fitzsimmons
Photo Courtesy: Bob Fitzsimmons

- Authorities diverted a flight headed from New York to Chicago to Detroit Metropolitan Airport Thursday night due to a disruptive passenger.

United Airlines flight 3461 landed about 8 p.m. at the airport in Romulus. The plane from LaGuardia Airport had 69 passengers and four crew members.

One of the passengers onboard, Bob Fitzsimmons, described in an email to FOX 2 what happened onboard.

He says it started when a young woman began yelling at a flight attendant and ripped off her necklace. A criminal complaint names Breanna Farquharson as the woman, and says the flight attendant got a small scratch on her lip when that happened. The criminal complaint says Farquharson also assaulted a passenger by grabbing the passenger's shirt collar and necklace, and broke the necklace.

Fitzsimmons and the criminal complaint state that he and a few other passengers then ran to Farquharson and helped hold her down, while she kept yelling and rambling on about various things.

Fitzsimmons says they eventually were able to restrain the woman with some belts, scarves and seat belt extenders, as he says the flight crew had no devices or flight marshal onboard to restrain her.

Fitzsimmons says her voice sounded "demonic" and that he believes she was having some sort of psychotic episode.

He says after about 50 minutes, the pilot announced the flight was diverting to Detroit. He says the police came and placed the woman in handcuffs.

The flight then continued to O'Hare International Airport, arriving about an hour late.

Farquharson has been charged with assaulting and intimidating a flight crew member. 

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