BALTIMORE – A Baltimore woman who was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight by police after revealing a pet allergy with two dogs onboard has been charged in Maryland.
Anila Daulatzai, a 46-year-old professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art, faces charges including disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstructing and hindering a police officer stemming from the incident on Tuesday night, CBS Baltimore reports.
Video of the encounter went viral and Southwest issued an apology to Daulatzai on Wednesday.
Upon boarding the plane, Daulatzai complained about an emotional support animal on board, claiming she was deathly allergic to the pet. Southwest officials say she was unable to provide a medical certificate necessary to prove the allergy.
An official from Southwest said that a customer without a medical certificate may be denied boarding if they report a life-threatening allergic reaction and cannot travel safely with an animal on board.
They say after explaining the situation, Daulatzai refused to leave the plane, and law enforcement was brought in to remove her.
“Come on, lady let’s go,” the officer can be heard saying in a video recorded by another passenger.
“My dad has a surgery! What are you doing?” Daulatzai responded. “I will walk off! Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me! You have ripped my pants off.”
She can be heard screaming as others urged her to walk out on her own.
“She just lost control of the situation and she was way in over her head by the point that the police were trying to take her out,” passenger Bill Dumas said. “It really looks like police were being overly aggressive, but really she wasn’t giving them much of a choice.”
In a statement Wednesday, Southwest said it was sorry for how the situation was handled.
“We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers,” the airline said. “We publicly offer our apologies to this Customer for her experience and we will be contacting her directly to address her concerns.”