At this point, the scenes from the airline-passenger meltdowns are familiar: the aggrieved and perhaps uncooperative flyer; the law enforcement officers pleading and commanding; the shocked and irritated passengers pulling out cellphones.
This time, it happened on a Southwest Airlines flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles.
A passenger was upset by two dogs on a Tuesday night flight. She claimed the animals would set off a deadly pet allergy, and she wanted them gone.
The officers who were called to remove her from the plane were accused of being too aggressive.
And, of course, the worst parts of the interaction were captured on a cellphone video that has rocketed around the world.
The video kicks in mid-confrontation. A woman screams at law enforcement officers, telling them “don’t touch me.”
At one point, she claims that her father “has surgery tomorrow. My dad has surgery.” She says that the responding officers have ripped her pants, and she needs to fix them.
Three officers plead with the woman and order her to get off the plane, which hadn’t yet departed from Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport.
At several points, they tug at her, or wrap their arms around her and try to pull her down the aisle.
Maryland Transportation Authority police identified the woman as Anila Daulatzai, 46, from Baltimore.
She was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, disturbing the peace, obstructing and hindering a police officer, and resisting arrest, according to Lt. Kevin Ayd, and released on her own recognizance.
Daulatzai is a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art, according to the Los Angeles Times, and had been a visiting assistant professor at Harvard University. According to her Harvard bio, she’s a socio-cultural anthropologist with research projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Her research and teacher “circulate around the themes of war and humanitarianism.”
She could not immediately be reached for comment.
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According to a statement by Southwest, the woman told the flight crew “that she had a life-threatening pet allergy,” but she didn’t have a medical certificate with her.