An American Airlines flight from Charlotte, N.C., to Salt Lake City, Utah, was diverted to Tulsa International Airport late on Tuesday night after a "disruptive passenger" allegedly assaulted a mother traveling with her daughter.
The mother and daughter reportedly notified a flight attendant of the man’s behavior, claiming that he groped the woman while they slept, according to Fox 23. The pair was subsequently separated from the man by the crew as the flight prepared to divert.
The man, identified by James Clayton Cholewinski-Boy by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma, was arrested upon landing at Tulsa International Airport on charges of public intoxication. He was later charged with criminal sexual misconduct.
“The public should know these allegations pertain to criminal sexual misconduct by Mr. Cholewinski-Boy against a female passenger, not a threat to the plane or air travel," said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores of the Northern District of Oklahoma, in part, in a statement.
"The FBI will investigate this matter moving forward," he also confirmed.
A statement shared by American Airlines on Friday extended the company's thanks to the flight staff.
“We want to thank our crew, who once they became aware of this behavior, immediately separated the mother and her daughter on the flight. They subsequently requested law enforcement and diverted the aircraft to Tulsa. The quick actions of our crew ensured the safety and wellbeing of our customers on the flight.”
The airline confirmed the flight continued on to Salt Lake City after Cholewinski-Boy was removed.
A representative for the Tulsa police was not immediately available to offer further comment.