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Spirit Airlines passenger accused of assaulting crew, running to front of plane

The passenger, Amanda Renee Henry, 43, of Lebanon, Tennessee, allegedly grabbed her bag, ran toward the front of the aircraft and yelled, "I’m getting off this plane."
A Spirit Airlines aircraft takes off at La Guardia Airport
A Spirit Airlines aircraft takes off at La Guardia Airport on Aug. 26, 2020.SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images file

A Tennessee woman was charged after she physically assaulted two flight attendants, ran toward the front of the plane and screamed that she wanted to get off, federal authorities said.

The woman, Amanda Renee Henry, 43, surrendered to the FBI on Tuesday, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.

The incident happened on Nov. 27 during a Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Nashville, Tennessee. Henry is accused of becoming disruptive on the flight and appeared intoxicated, a criminal complaint states.

Passengers seated next to her asked the flight crew to move their seats but the crew decided to switch Henry's because she was seated next to an emergency exit, the complaint says.

"When they requested that Henry move, she refused and grabbed her carry-on bag and ran toward the front of the aircraft screaming, 'I’m getting off this plane,' the complaint alleges. "Another flight attendant blocked Henry from getting to the main cabin door and began to restrain her, at which time Henry began to kick and hit the flight attendant. Henry also assaulted the other flight attendant who assisted in trying to restrain her."

After the flight attendants were able to restrain Henry, a passenger who was an off-duty firefighter assisted by keeping her calm.

Once in Tennessee, Henry was arrested by the Nashville Airport Department of Public Safety and charged with public intoxication. The department did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday.

Federal investigators charged Henry, of Lebanon, Tennessee, with interfering with a flight crew. She appeared before a judge on that charge via a video conference on Tuesday.

If convicted of the federal charge, she faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A spokesperson for Spirit Airlines declined to comment.

Henry is the latest passenger arrested this year due to alleged unruly behavior on flights. On Thursday, a woman was charged in an alleged assault on a Delta Air Lines flight from Tampa, Florida, to Atlanta.

The woman, Patricia Yannet Cornwall, was accused of hitting another passenger in the face and spitting on the person following an argument over comments Cornwall made about Rosa Parks, according to a criminal complaint.

The incident was partially captured on video by a passenger and used as evidence against Cornwall.