British Airways flight diverted across America after Briton 'assaults woman'

BA flight 195 from London to Houston forced to land at Boston after man, named as Darren Halliwell, allegedly assaulted his travelling companion

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The Independent Online

A transatlantic British Airways flight had to be diverted after a British man allegedly assaulted a woman he was travelling with.

The flight from London to Houston was diverted to Boston Logan International Airport after reports the passenger had assaulted his travelling companion, before allegedly being restrained by multiple passengers.

Massachusetts state police said troopers arrested 48-year-old Darren Halliwell, of Aspull, Wigan, Manchester, at around noon yesterday. He was charged with interfering with a flight crew and is expected to be arraigned at a court in Boston on Thursday.

Authorities said more charges could be filed.

A statement posted on the Massachusetts state police website confirmed Mr Halliwell had been arrested "after he allegedly assaulted a woman and caused a disturbance on a transatlantic flight this morning".

It added: "Troopers met British Airways Flight 195, on which Halliwell was a passenger, when it landed at Logan Airport shortly after noon. State Police had been notified that the flight was being diverted to Logan after Haliwell allegedly assaulted a woman he was traveling with and became disruptive."

The flight continued to Houston after Mr Halliwell’s arrest, police said.

A Foreign Office statement said: "We are aware of reports of the arrest of a British national at Boston Logan International Airport and stand ready to offer consular assistance as necessary."

The Daily Mail reported that Mr Halliwell was a dad-of-two who had been travelling with his wife.

British Airways said in a statement: "Our customers and crews deserve to enjoy their flights, and not to suffer any form of abuse.

"This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated, and the captain took the decision to divert the aircraft to Boston as a precaution.

"The matter will now be handled by the police."