A passenger aboard a Delta Airlines flight has been arrested after disrupting a flight from London to Salt Lake City. The unruly flier assaulted a U.S. Air Marshal and threw coffee on other passengers as she raced up and down the aisle. 45-year-old Sarah Maria Beach was arrested Thursday for misdemeanor assault of a federal air marshal.
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Federal prosecutors say Beach toppled a drink cart when she raced up and down the aisle and threw coffee all over passengers. Beach was handcuffed after she "jumped on the back of" the air marshal and "placed her hands on his head, neck, and jawline." She was then seated next to the air marshal after she "caused a disruption on the flight" by throwing coffee on other passengers, overturning a drink cart, and belligerently running back and forth down the center aisle of the plane "repeatedly", according to charging documents.
Martin Nicholls of London was also aboard the Delta flight to Salt Lake City and was seated across the aisle. Nicholls said he watched as "she literally sprinted down the end. And I mean she's only a small woman, really." He said Beach then raced the other direction toward the back of the plane making the other fliers nervous.
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Nicholls said, "everyone's becoming very concerned because, I thought, we're at 30-odd thousand feet over the sea. What if she tried to open the door? she couldn't get to the back door but then she ran again." Nicholls said he became so concerned that "I literally just stood up and grabbed her and rooted her to the spot." Beach was escorted by flight attendants to the back of the plane.
"She was saying she's got a lot going on in her life," he explained. "At one point she stood up and she was drinking coffee and she literally just threw the whole thing — not the cup, the coffee — and it hit the ceiling, it was going down the walls. It went over probably about six or seven passengers, some, almost, to the other side of the plane." Beach is an American citizen who has been living in London and could face up to a year in federal prison if found guilty of the charges against her, according to U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch. Beach had an initial court appearance Friday where she was arraigned and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
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