Woman Charged After Screaming on DC-Bound Flight

Plane bound for Washington diverted to Omaha

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A D.C.-bound plane landed in Omaha after a passenger forced her way into first class screaming “terrorist” and pointing a finger at attendants aboard United Airlines Flight 142, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.

    Maria Rita Manzoni reportedly pressed her call button and told a flight attendant she felt sick. On the way to the restroom, she told attendants the men sitting in her row were terrorists. She said one had a bungee cord and a voice recorder and that the other had a GPS device and a cell phone.

    Manzoni was taken to the rear of the plane while the attendant questioned the men. However, the attendant wasn’t convinced the men posed any threat to the aircraft, crew or passengers. Later in the flight, Manzoni “became hysterical, screaming ‘terrorist’ while pointing at flight attendants and pushing her way toward the cabin,” said Christopher Meztista Jr., a special agent with the FBI’s Omaha Division.

    According to court records, a male passenger tried to intervene, but Manzoni was still able to push her way to the front of the plane, where two other male passengers and the flight attendants restrained her.

    The plane was then diverted to Omaha and landed without further incident. Manzoni has been charged in U.S. District Court in Nebraska with interference with cabin and flight crew.