Officers Flying Home from NYPD Funeral Stop Mid-Air Suicide Attempt
"It was pretty much a street fight at 30,000 feet," one detective said.
— -- Three law enforcement officers who were flying back to Utah after attending the funeral of a New York police officer came to the rescue of a fellow passenger who was allegedly trying to kill herself.
Salt Lake City detectives Robert Odor and Cody Stromberg and Salt Lake County Sgt. Terry Wall were on a JetBlue flight from New York back to Utah on Monday following the Sunday funeral for Wenjian Liu, one of two police officers killed in Brooklyn last month.
The officers were flying for free since the airline offered to pay for law enforcement officers from across the country to attend funerals for Liu and his partner Rafael Ramos. Odor said at a press conference Monday night that a flight attendant announced that the officers were on board "and she said 'you will never have a safer flight,' and so I guess that's one way to curse a flight, is to tell everybody how safe it's going to be."
A woman on their flight was separated from her husband and began acting out in a rage, and one point in the flight she started taking pills and writing a suicide note, according to ABC affiliate KTVX.
"She was extremely combative," Stromberg said at a press conference after the plane landed. "She was kicking, spitting and throwing things around. It was pretty much a street fight at 30,000 feet."
The police officers intervened, restraining the woman and prompting the flight to divert to Chicago.
"I just grabbed the pill bottle out of her hand and the note she was going to put on her lap and it explained what she had done to kill herself," Odor said. A doctor on board the plane tried to help but the woman started biting him.
The woman's name was not released, but she was identified by KTVX as a 32-year-old from Long Island.
In spite of their efforts, the woman was able to swallow some of the undisclosed drugs and they reportedly started to take effect by the time they touched down in Chicago.
"She was asking for help at that point," Wall said during the press conference. "She wanted her stomach pumped and she wanted her daddy."
KTVX reports the flight eventually continued its journey to Salt Lake and arrived at their intended destination at 2:30 a.m., more than nine hours after the flight began.
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