A woman was physically restrained to her chair with strips of duct tape aboard an American Airlines flight, the company says, after she allegedly tried to open the plane’s door while the craft was in flight and assaulted a crew member.
Video of the shocking scene was initially posted on TikTok, and made its way to Twitter on Sunday. The original video was not immediately locatable at the time of this article’s publication.
In a statement to The Independent, an American Airlines spokesperson confirmed that an unnamed woman was restrained by crew members on board a late-night flight from Dallas, Texas to Charlotte, North Carolina last week.
“While in flight from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Charlotte (CLT) on July 6, the crew on board American Airlines flight 1774 reported a potential security concern after a customer attempted to open the forward boarding door and physically assaulted, bit and caused injury to a flight attendant,” said the company spokesperson.
The statement continued: “For the safety and security of other customers and our crew, the individual was restrained until the flight landed at CLT and could be met by law enforcement and emergency personnel. We applaud our crew for their professionalism and quick effort to protect those on board.”
A screengrab of a TikTok belonging to someone going by “Arieana Mathena” was posted on Twitter by lifestyle influencer Mike Sington on Sunday that shows the woman restrained to her seat with what appears to be several pieces of silver duct tape; her hands are seen bound with an unknown object behind her back, and her mouth is covered with tape as well.
American Airlines passenger was duct taped to her seat after she tried to open the plane door, then bit a flight attendant. pic.twitter.com/nDsu3GWnOP— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) July 11, 2021
It wasn’t clear initially from American Airlines’ statement whether any passengers assisted in the woman’s restraining.
According to the company, officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department met the flight at the gate, and transported the woman to a hospital for evaluation after other passengers deplaned.
The woman was placed on the airline’s internal refusal list, according to a spokesperson. Police representatives could not immediately be reached regarding questions as to whether she will face charges.