Update: Listen to a Podcast interview of Marilyn Parver describing the incident.
A 56-year-old JetBlue passenger was led off the airplane in handcuffs by federal agents after refusing to delete a video she filmed of an altercation between two passengers.
JetBlue flight attendants threatened Marilyn Parver with imprisonment and told her she would be placed on the “no-fly” list, which would put her in the same category as terrorists.
Once she was removed from the airplane, JetBlue and TSA officials reviewed the video and determined that it was not enough evidence to charge her with inteferance with a flight crew member – a federal crime which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years.
But even then, a JetBlue representative demanded she delete the video. And Parver continued to refuse.
“He informed me that if I didn’t immediately delete it, I could never fly on JetBlue again,” she said. “He said that he would be filing a report that would be shared with other airlines, and I might have a hard time getting any airline to let me fly.”
When Parver demanded everybody’s name as well as a written statement confirming she would be placed on the no-fly list, a Las Vegas police officer ordered her to leave the airport or be arrested.
“I said, ‘Then arrest me.”
At that point, the officer arrested her, pushed her against the wall and forced her down a flight of stairs, Parver said.
She was eventually released without charges because the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department claims they have no record of the incident.
The incident, which occurred July 26th on a flight from New York City to Las Vegas, began innocently enough:
“I was taking photos from my window seat of clouds, and I was wearing a noise-reduction headset with a TV show playing loudly in my ears,” Parver said. “Even with the headset on, I had been able to hear a very loud child seated a few rows in front of me annoying everyone for approximately two hours.
“Suddenly, I heard loud shouts and removed my headset,” she added. “I realized that the man seated next to the loud child had finally lost it.”
At that point, the child’s mother and the passenger were yelling at each other, Parver added.
“On instinct, I turned my video camera towards the altercation,” Parver said.
Having just left from a visit with her grandchild in Boston, Parver said she thought the video would be a good example to show her daughter how children’s behavior affects other people.
Parver said she did not leave her seat or even stand up in it.
Thirty minutes after the incident, flight crew members began asking passengers if they had witnessed the incident. Parver informed them that she had filmed it.
“After viewing the video, they demanded that I delete it,” Parver said. “I asked, ‘Why?’ The head-stewardess went as far as to tell me that I had broken a law by using an electronic item during the flight.”
One flight attendant even accused her of wanting to upload the video on YouTube, as if that is even a crime. Ironically, this incident will probably give JetBlue more negative exposure than a YouTube video would.
The flight attendants then told her that the captain had ordered her to delete the video, but when asked to speak to the captain via telephone, they refused.
A few minutes later she was given a yellow slip of paper notifying Parver to cease her illegal behavior or risk very serious repercussions with the phrase “Interference with an airline crew member” circled. The offense has a maximum punishment of $10,000 in fines and 25 years in jail.
Parver, who has vowed to fight this all the way, will soon be featured on Good Morning America.