A passenger on an American Airlines flight was charged Thursday
after federal authorities accused her of attacking three crew members aboard
the flight as it approached Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North
The FBI charged Charlene Sarieann Harriott, 36, for interfering
with a crew member and attendants during a flight Wednesday morning from
Dallas/ Fort Worth to Charlotte. She was taken into custody Wednesday soon
after the flight landed at its destination.
As the flight began to descend at the Charlotte airport,
Harriott, who was seated at the rear of Flight 1033, reportedly ran toward the
cockpit, according to a criminal complaint. Flight attendants were already on
their seats to prepare for landing when the incident happened.
The attendants first ordered her to stop, however, when she
didn’t, they gave chase down the aisle — just as the flight was touching down.
The crew eventually restrained her with duct tape and zip ties
in the first-class section of the aircraft as the plane landed, but Harriott
“became more aggressive and physically violent toward the flight crew,”
according to the criminal complaint cited by the Charlotte
Harriott allegedly bit one attendant on the right forearm,
puncturing the skin and thus causing it to bleed, according to the complaint.
She then hit a second attendant in the right forearm and kicked a third
attendant in the leg and abdomen. All the three flight attendants were sent to
American Airlines’ onsite medical clinic for treatment once the flight
An arrest warrant was sealed, but court documents said Harriott
was scheduled for an initial appearance before a federal magistrate to be held
Thursday afternoon. She was being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail on three
counts of assault and battery, and will remain there in custody until her
detention hearing next week as ordered by a federal judge.
This is not the first time an airlines has faced an unruly
passenger. In May 2017, an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii
was escorted by two fighter jets after an unruly man was subdued by flight
attendants and passengers, who used a drink cart to prevent him from getting to
the front of the plane.
The man, identified as Anil Uskanil, 25, of Turkey, was
duct-taped to his seat till the aircraft landed in Honolulu and federal agents
boarded the plane to arrest him, a passenger in the aircraft told Chicago Tribune at
"The flight attendants just were really heroic,"
passenger named Lee Lorenzen said. "By the time we landed and the FBI
took him into custody, he was very mellow."
In another incident, in July 2017, a United Airlines flight was
forced to turn around due to the presence of a disruptive passenger. The
passenger reportedly ran toward the cockpit about 25 minutes into the 45-minute
flight, while hitting the wall of the plane and yelling “We are all protected
and loved! We are all protected and loved! This plane is going to land
beautifully and kindly!” ABC 13 News reported at