A New Jersey woman was arrested Tuesday at Southwest Florida International Airport on accusations that she cursed at, spit toward and attacked a flight attendant who refused to serve her alcohol.
After she was denied a drink, witnesses said Peggy S. Albedhady-Sanchez, 50, a passenger on a U.S. Airways flight from Charlotte, N.C., to Fort Myers, responded by grabbing the flight attendant and “cursing, spitting, kicking and screaming,” according to a Lee County Port Authority Police Department arrest report.
Although it was unclear if Albedhady-Sanchez was already intoxicated, flight attendants are trained not to serve alcohol to passengers who appear to be under the influence, airline spokesman Bill McGlashen said.
Shortly after Albedhady-Sanchez’s request for alcohol was denied, reports said she slapped another flight attendant who tried to intervene and kicked a third flight attendant in the groin. An off-duty Lee County sheriff’s deputy who happened to be on the flight stepped in and took the woman to the back of the plane, where she was placed in plastic restraints, reports said.
“Flight attendants are trained to recognize levels of passenger disruption,” McGlashen said. “They correctly assessed the passenger and helped restrain the passenger for the safety of everyone on board.”
Upon an on-time arrival in Fort Myers around 6 p.m., Albedhady-Sanchez of Union City, N.J., was arrested and taken to the Lee County jail, where she faces charges of interfering with the operation of an aircraft and three counts of battery. She remained held at the Lee County jail Wednesday on bonds totaling $5,500. Bond was withheld on one of the battery charges.
One of Albedhady-Sanchez’s family members in Bonita Springs declined comment when reached on the phone. McGlashen said Wednesday the flight crew had returned to its base in Charlotte, N.C.