updated 7/23/2007 10:22:48 AM ET 2007-07-23T14:22:48

Flight crews appropriately handled a passenger accused of repeatedly hitting her two young children on a Frontier Airlines flight, a company spokesman said.

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An FBI affidavit alleges that Tamera Jo Freeman, 38, hit and cursed at her 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son during a flight from San Francisco to Denver last Monday. It also alleges that she assaulted and intimidated a flight attendant who intervened.

Freeman was arrested after the plane landed and was held for investigation of interference with a flight crew and assault on children, both federal charges. A judge said at a brief hearing Friday in U.S. District Court that she would remain in custody until another hearing next week.

The flight attendant intervened in the middle or near the end of the flight, and crew members followed airline rules, Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas said. The flight crew served Freeman two drinks, he said.

The children have been placed in the custody of relatives in California. Freeman's hometown wasn't released, and her court-appointed attorney, Martha Eskesen, declined to comment outside the courtroom Friday.

The FBI affidavit said Freeman told an investigator she "lost it" and slapped her children during the flight because they were fighting over the window shade and because her daughter had spilled a drink.

Six witnesses said Freeman hit the children on their legs, shoulders and knees, the affidavit said. Freeman appeared "drunk and violent" toward the children even before she boarded the plane, the affidavit said.

Freeman faces up to 21 years in prison and fines up to $350,000 if convicted of both charges.

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