Woman arrested after alleged assaults on flight to Las Vegas

Updated June 14, 2017 - 3:12 pm

Las Vegas police arrested a woman passenger at McCarran International Airport late Tuesday for allegedly assaulting passengers and crew aboard an American Airlines flight from Chicago. She then attacked one of the arresting officers, police said.

Crew members told Metropolitan Police Department officers upon arrival that the woman had assaulted passengers and crew during the flight and was eventually restrained with zip ties to prevent further attacks.

The woman, 54-year-old Jane Coats, then slapped an officer after police untied her, prompting an immediate arrest and a charge of battery on a protected person, Metro spokesman Jay Rivera said. Coats is being held at Clark County Detention Center on $2,000 bail, records show.

“I could tell pretty quickly she was inebriated,” passenger Ryan Flanigan of Las Vegas said of Coats, who sat next to him during the flight. He described her as “belligerent” and frustrated over a delayed takeoff.

Coats had expressed concern that the passengers would get carbon monoxide poisoning from sitting too long in the cabin and that “Donald Trump would fix this” by sending people to jail.

Flanigan said he told the woman to be quiet and that she eventually punched him in the face before moving elsewhere and accosting at least two other passengers and one flight attendant.

When staff finally subdued Coats, the plane’s passengers erupted into applause, Flanigan said.

“The flight crew did an exceptional job,” Flanigan said.

Passengers and personnel who wanted to press charges were told the FBI will handle the investigation because the attacks occurred on a commercial airline flight, Metro said.

Contact Rachel Hershkovitz at rhershkovitz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @rzhershkovitz on Twitter.

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