Strange But True

Domestic violence episode (and arrest) on Southwest flight from Las Vegas to Denver

Update below: Over the years, we've written about plenty of strange things that happened on planes, including the ex-priest arrested for pleasuring himself and the guy accused of groping a pregnant woman.

But what happened last night on a Southwest flight from Las Vegas to Denver is a first for us -- an alleged domestic-violence incident involving a man and a woman that led to the former's being arrested.

Here's what we know so far.

"Regularly scheduled Southwest flight 382 arrived safely in Denver from Las Vegas at around midnight," says Laura Coale, a spokeswoman for Denver International Airport -- at which point "we were notified of a possible report of domestic violence."

Following standard protocol, Coale continues, "the Denver Police Department, TSA operations and the FBI responded to the aircraft" to interview the passengers. The process took about an hour, and because passengers on Southwest flights don't have assigned seats, they had to remain on the plane during the questioning.

Meanwhile, Coale says it's her understanding that the man in the situation was arrested, but she directed us to the Denver Police Department for confirmation.

Update: Moments after the publication of this post, a DPD spokesman provided us with a few more details. He tells us that Denver police "had limited involvement" in the matter, but he says the man was wanted on an outstanding warrant and was taken into custody as a result. The spokesman added that he does not yet have a name for the man.

Does that mean he hasn't been charged in relation to the alleged domestic-violence episode? And just who has him in custody? That's still unclear right now.

As for the FBI, local spokesman Dave Joly says that "because it was in the air, we have a role to verify no harm to the passengers or the flight crew" -- but in the end, investigators on the scene determined that federal charges shouldn't be pressed.

No names have been released thus far. We'll update this post when we learn more about an incident that appears to have taken place in front of a large, captive audience.

More from our Strange But True archive: "Photos: Naked woman at Denver International Airport becomes TMZ celeb."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts