A statement from Southwest Airlines detailed the incident, which occurred as Flight 2010 left Los Angeles International Airport about 10:30 p.m. Sunday night (Oct. 18) to head for San Francisco. It wasn’t until 15 minutes later when the jet returned to LAX to make emergency landing in Los Angeles, airport officials said.
Southwest’s statement attributed the turnaround to a “rapidly escalating situation” involving two passengers who weren’t traveling together. As for the cause of the drama, one person on board the jet tweeted that the dispute was over a passenger reclining a seat.
Southwest goes on to describe what happened as a “physical altercation by one passenger against another.” As a result, the airline added that the pilot decided to declare an emergency on the flight to give it priority to land over other in-bound flights.
According to Curry, he was asleep and awoke to the sounds of the shouting victim.
“The woman was saying he grabbed her neck. ‘He choked me, he choked me! He hit me in the head!'” the comedian told NBC Bay Area.
Turns out, the authorities were waiting at a gate as the Southwest jet returned. One passenger was removed from the flight, while the remaining 136 passengers on the flight continued on to San Francisco just after midnight.
The officials note that the FBI, which didn’t arrest the passenger, is handling the investigation of the incident.