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American Airlines: 2 arrested for assaulting using racial slurs on passengers, flight diverted to PHX

Posted at 4:46 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 22:45:04-05

American Airlines says two women were arrested Thursday after they verbally and physically assaulted other passengers and crew members on a flight that was diverted to Phoenix.

The airline said the flight was traveling from Dallas-Fort Worth to Los Angeles when it was diverted due to an in-flight customer altercation at around 5:15 p.m.

Once the flight arrived in Phoenix, local law enforcement officials removed and arrested two female passengers, who were later identified as 30-year old, Kelly Pichardo and 29-year old, Leeza Rodriguez for allegedly verbally and physically assaulting other customers and crew members.

Phoenix police officers say the two women were using racial slurs when a male passenger asked them to stop using bad language.

Pichardo allegedly spit at the man who then began recording the two women. Officers say that's when Rodriguez hit the man's hand to stop him from recording them.

American Airlines officials said, "their behavior was disturbing and unacceptable, and they have been placed on our internal refuse list pending further investigation."

Rodriguez was booked for disorderly conduct and Pichardo was booked for assault and disorderly conduct

The flight continued to Los Angeles' LAX and arrived without further incident.