Originally Posted by Las Vegas Sun
Passenger on Vegas-bound flight strips naked, arrested
By Mary Manning (contact)
Published Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009 | 12:53 p.m.
A Southwest Airlines flight with a stop in Las Vegas was forced to make a return trip to Oakland today as a man fought flight attendants and passengers, stripped naked and was eventually arrested.
The man, identified as Darius L. Chappille with addresses in Oakland and Jefferson City, Mo., put his arm around a female passenger and exposed himself, causing her to scream shortly after takeoff from Oakland at 7:22 a.m. today, said Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
"Then he punches her," Nelson said, hard enough that it sent the woman to a hospital in Oakland. She is being treated at Highland Hospital in Oakland for minor injuries, Nelson said.
Flight attendants and other passengers wrestled with the 300-pound man, who flailed at flight attendants and broke away, stripped naked and was lying in the plane's aisle as it made a return trip to Oakland to remove the man, Nelson said.
Back in Oakland, 10 Alameda County sheriff's deputies boarded the plane, Nelson said.
"He was naked at the time of arrest," Nelson said. Chappille was sitting in a seat at the time of his arrest. "It wasn't hard to spot him," Nelson said.
The man was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland for a mental evaluation. Once his review is complete, he will be booked into the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, Calif., Nelson said.
Chappille was wanted on drug-related offenses in Jefferson City, Mo., Nelson said. He will be booked on the felony charges based on the warrant from Missouri and faces sexual battery charges in Oakland, Nelson said.
The FBI has been contacted and could file further charges. The charges against Chappille will be sent to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office for review.
Southwest Flight 947 arrived in Las Vegas about 10 a.m. and continued on to St. Louis, said Elaine Sanchez, spokeswoman for McCarran International Airport. The flight was delayed two hours and 45 minutes in Oakland, according to the Southwest Airline's Web site.
"I've been a public information officer for the sheriff's office for three years, and this is the busiest day I've had," Nelson said.