New York woman jailed for altercation on plane

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PHOENIX — A New York woman has been sentenced to four months in prison for interfering with crew members aboard a Dallas to Los Angeles flight last year that had to be diverted to Phoenix, federal prosecutors said.

They said Kelly Pichardo and another first-class passenger had behaved intimidatingly during the flight and that both women had to be removed from the plane after it landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Feb. 24, 2021.

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Authorities said the women each attacked a passenger during the flight and used racist remarks when a male passenger asked them to stop.

Pichardo is also said to have spat at the man when he tried to record the altercation.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Phoenix Police Department and the two women were charged with disorderly conduct for verbally and physically assaulting other customers and crew members.

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Prosecutors said Pichardo, a 32-year-old Bronx resident, has been ordered to pay American Airlines nearly $9,200 in restitution as a result of the altercation.

They say that Pichardo will also be released under surveillance for three years after her jail time.

The other female passenger involved in the incident has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in November.