32-year-old Kelly Pichardo confessed of rioting with her co-defendant Lisa Rodriguez on American Airlines Flight AA776. The pilots were so amazed by the behavior of the women that they decided to make an emergency landing in Phoenix, where both friends were taken away by law enforcement.
Pichardo and Rodriguez were sitting together in the first class cabin when a fellow passenger reprimanded them for allegedly used racial language while talking loudly among themselves.
Pichardo responded by spitting and shouting racial slurs at the man, then knocked his cell phone out of his hands when he tried to record what was happening.
< p> The flight attendants intervened in the dispute, but in the end one of them “fell under the distribution.” American Airlines described women's behavior as 'disturbing and unacceptable' and stated that they were both on the internal “black list of prohibited from flying”. At least while the investigation is ongoing.
“There is a line between boorish behavior on a plane and criminal activity, and the accused has clearly crossed it,” — Prosecutor Gary Restaino commented on the sentence to the violator. “First Class passengers are not immune from prosecution: Verbal and physical intimidation by the defendant disrupted the journey of both passengers and crew.”
Pichardo also faces 36 months of supervised life upon release and is ordered to pay $9,123 in damages to American Airlines.
Rodriguez also pleaded guilty to meddling with crew members but will not be sentenced until November 7, 2022.