American Airlines Flight 3444, flying from Jacksonville, Fl to D.C. on Wednesday, had to make an emergency landing in Raleigh-Durham after an angry passenger allegedly tried to breach the cockpit.
The criminal charge against thirty-six-year-old passenger Tiffany Miles have now been dropped. Miles was arrested on Wednesday, and she faced misdemeanor charges for airport obstruction. The sentence for airport obstruction can carry 20 years of jail time. Yet despite causing a flight to make an emergency landing and the passengers traveling with Miles to have to rebook their flights, it seems Miles’ behavior carries no repercussions.
Miles reportedly became irritated when she couldn’t get her hands on an alcoholic beverage fast enough.
A statement was issued by police saying they had decided to drop the charges after reviewing the incident and reviewing witness statements:
“After continued investigation regarding the circumstances surrounding the incident and review of eyewitness statements, plus in-depth consultation with the Wake County District Attorney, RDU law enforcement have dismissed the [charge].”
Kara Rosario, a fellow passenger, told ABC 11 that Miles was sitting in first class and became upset because the crew was taking too long to serve her. Apparently, Miles became irritated that the alcoholic beverage she asked for wasn’t being served fast enough. She then tried to get into the cockpit while crew members attempted to calm her down and de-escalate the situation.
“She was upset because they weren’t serving her beverage. She was yelling that she paid for First Class and that she’s not getting her drink that she’s ordered,” Rosario said.
Another passenger concerned about the altercation joined the crew to help “diffuse the situation,” Rosario said. She was sitting a few rows behind Miles on the flight, “He wasn’t a marshal at all or a police officer, just a citizen who was trying to help diffuse the situation, You could feel that we were in it together and were willing to do what was needed, but the gentleman behind me was the first to get up and take matters into his own hands.”
Air traffic control audio described Miles as loose on the flight but was being contained by crew and passengers.
“Subject is currently on the loose in the cabin. And is trying to breach the cabin. [Miles] is being somewhat restrained by the flight crew and other passengers.”
The pilot asked that Miles be restrained when the plane landed, and a “long gun crew was waiting outside the airport” for the flight.
Miles was able to post bail, and her charges have been dropped by Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Police Department.