A Southwest passenger accused of 'unruly behavior' tried to open the plane door mid-flight, court documents show

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at Austin International Airport, Texas
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at a gate in Austin, TexasGeorge Rose/Getty Images
  • An "unruly" Southwest passenger tried to open the plane door mid-flight, according to court documents.

  • The woman said "Jesus told her to open the plane door," the criminal complaint said.

  • She is now facing charges alleging assault and interfering with the flight crew.

A woman who was removed from a Southwest flight and accused of "unruly behavior" last week was trying to open the plane door mid-flight, according to court documents reviewed by Insider.

According to the complaint — which was first obtained by Click 2 Houston —  the woman said that "Jesus told her to open the plane door."

The flight, scheduled to depart from Houston and arrive in Columbus, Ohio, had to make an emergency landing in Little Rock, Arkansas, so the woman could be removed from the plane, Insider previously reported.

She is now facing charges alleging assault and interference with flight crew members and attendants.

The 34-year-old woman got up from her seat in the middle of the flight and walked to the back of the aircraft where she "stared" at the exit door, court documents said.

A flight attendant then told the woman to use the bathroom or return to her seat, the complaint said. Another flight attendant said the woman asked to look out the window near the jump seat where she was sitting, and when they told her she could not, she pushed past the flight attendants and began pulling at the exit door handle while the plane was 37,000 feet in the air.

A passenger who overheard what was going on from their seat went to the back of the plane to help detain the woman, according to court documents; the passenger reportedly bit the passenger on the thigh during the scuffle. According to court documents, the woman then began to bang her head on the floor of the plane.

The woman told authorities she was on her way to Maryland to visit a friend and was traveling alone without any luggage. The complaint claims she left her home on Saturday without telling her husband.

She told authorities she "had not flown in a long time" and couldn't remember the last time she was on a plane.

The court documents allege that the woman said she could not breathe on the plane, prompting her to leave her seat and try to open the plane door, which she said she remembered doing. She said she "became very anxious and normally would not have done those things."

Lawyers representing the accused woman did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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