SFO flight diverted after man chokes fellow passenger

A confrontation involving two passengers turned around a San Francisco-bound flight back to Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Southwest Airlines flight 2010 departed from the Los Angeles International Airport for San Francisco at 10:32 p.m. However, a “rapidly escalating situation” involving two passengers caused the aircraft’s captain to declare and emergency and divert back to LAX in order to allow police to access the cabin, according to Southwest spokesman Dan Landis.

According to a passenger on the flight who posted on Instagram:

“… a man strangled a woman because she tilted her seat back.”

The plane arrived back at the airport thirteen minutes after its original departure. Once at the gate, law enforcement officers responded, Landis said.

One passenger was removed from the flight and did not travel on to San Francisco, Landis said.

So far no arrests or charges have been made, and the FBI is continuing to interview witnesses and investigate the incident, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

The remaining 136 passengers of the plane switched planes but arrived at the San Francisco International Airport five hours after their scheduled arrival, Landis said.

The flight resumed at 12:21 a.m. and arrived at SFO at 1:48 a.m., according to the SFO website.