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Oswego Woman Accused Of In-Flight Disturbance

</p>Maria Castillo's mugshot.
Maria Castillo

A woman from Oswego faces federal charges in North Carolina, for allegedly causing an alcohol-fueled disturbance on an airplane so severe that the flight crew duct taped her to her seat to stop her and diverted the flight to get her off the plane.

Maria Esther Castillo of Oswego is accused of interfering with the operations of a flight crew and with resisting arrest.  She’s in jail in Charlotte, North Carolina and faces a detention hearing on Thursday.  Castillo works as a hair stylist at SUNY Oswego.

According to a statement (available at this link as a pdf) from an FBI agent, filed as part of the case, the disturbance happened on a United Airlines flight on Saturday, November 1.  The plane had left San Juan, Puerto Rico, heading for Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Agent Peter Carricato’s statement alleges that a passenger told the flight crew that Castillo had been drinking at a bar at the airport before the flight.  The flight crew said Castillo was given one drink aboard the plane, but they refused to give her another drink, based on her behavior.

Carricato alleges that about 90 minutes into the flight, Castillo became “very loud and disruptive.  She began using profanity and invading the personal space of other passengers by touching and jabbing them,” Carricato wrote in his statement.

He said the flight crew told Castillo to stop after she allegedly hit another passenger in the arm and called the passenger a crude name.

She then threw items, hit a flight attendant on the buttocks and grabbed the arms of a passenger reaching for a magazine.  Later, according to the statement, she stood up, fell forward onto a blind passenger and began pulling the passenger’s hair.

At that point, the flight crew took action.  Carricato said the crew and two passengers attempted to handcuff Castillo to her seat, but the cuffs were not large enough.  Instead, he wrote, “they were forced to duck [sic] tape Castillo to her seat.  Castillo strongly resisted the entire time.”

The FBI agent said Castillo remained disruptive, which caused the pilot to divert the plane to Charlotte, North  Carolina’s Douglass International Airport so Castillo could be removed and arrested.  Carricato alleges that Castillo resisted arrest after the landing as well.