An American Airlines flight originally scheduled to depart from Dallas, Texas and arrive at Los Angeles, California was diverted to Phoenix, Arizona last week after airline staff became aware of an onboard altercation that involved the use of an unspecified racial slur.
Two Hispanic women from the Bronx neighborhood of New York – Leeza Rodriguez, 29, and Kelly Pichardo, 30, – were arrested after the flight landed safely in Phoenix.
“Witnesses reported that the two women were using racial slurs when a male passenger asked them to stop using that language. Kelly Pichardo became upset and allegedly spit at the male passenger who had asked her to stop using that language,” Phoenix police spokeswoman Mercedes Fortune told The Arizona Republic.
When the man began filming the incident with a cell phone camera, Rodriguez allegedly struck his hand in an effort to make him drop the device.
Pichardo was charged with disorderly conduct and Rodriguez was charged with assault and disorderly conduct.