Bathroom Break on Southwest Flight Leads to Fight, Arrest

Monday, Aug 16, 2010  |  Updated 1:09 PM CDT
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A California woman was arrested at Midway Airport Saturday night after allegedly causing a disturbance on a Southwest Airlines aircraft that was getting ready for takeoff.

Patsy Ann Butler, 51, of Chino Hills, CA, is accused of getting into an altercation with an airline employee that started when she tried to use the bathroom while the flight was preparing for takeoff -- and ended with expletives, slapping and shoving.

It all started as flight 2861 was about to leave for Norfolk, VA, airline spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said.

Eichinger said Butler was trying to use the washroom as the aircraft was beginning to push back from the gates in order to take off, and a flight attendant tried to stop her.

“She wanted to use it [the lavatory] but they were not operational because the flight [was] going back,’’ Eichinger said.

During the altercation, Butler allegedly began to yell obscenities, calling the flight attendant a b ----, according to a police report.

Butler was removed from the aircraft, along with a companion, and the flight took off safely, Eichinger said.

But after Butler was asked to leave the plane, she allegedly slapped a Southwest Airlines operations agent on the left arm, and then shoved the victim on the right arm while the victim was attempting to close the plane door, the report said.

Eichinger described what unfolded with the agent after Butler deplaned as more of an argument.

“She continued to cause a disturbance, so police were called to the gate,’’ Eichinger said.

Butler was arrested at Midway Airport at 6:30 p.m., and charged with one count of battery, a misdemeanor, according to Chicago police.

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