American Airlines Flight Diverted After Alleged Sexual Assault

An American Airlines flight was diverted on Tuesday due to allegations of assault. The aircraft was redirected to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the man was arrested by airport police for public intoxication.

Airbus A321
The Airbus A321 made a diversion while on the way to Salt Lake City. Photo: Airbus

What happened?

CNN reports that the incident occurred on Flight AA807 from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Salt Lake City, Utah. While on the airliner, a woman told the crew that a man forcibly grabbed her by the crotch shortly after takeoff. Subsequently, the staff moved the woman and her daughter to another part of the plane. 

After his arrest, the man was identified as James Clayton Cholewinski-Boy and was charged with abusive sexual contact. According to a complaint filed on Friday, Cholewinski-Boy threw up his hands and said ‘sorry’ after the incident happened. 

Airbus A321 Runway
The A321 landed safely at Tulsa following the incident. Photo: Airbus

Serious incident

He was released the day after the arrest, on his own recognizance, the Tulsa Municipal Jail told CNN. However, due to the serious nature of the incident, the U.S Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Trent Shores wants people to know about the reports.

“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,” Shores said, as reported by CNN.

Furthermore, American Airlines made a statement, which praised the swift response of the crew on the flight. The carrier feels that the welfare of the passenger was prioritized when it came to the events during the flight.

“The quick actions of our crew ensured the safety and wellbeing of our customers on the flight,” the statement said, as shared by CNN.

Airbus A321 in air
American Airlines commended its crew on its swift decision making. Photo: Airbus

Important decisions

Quick action has to be taken when it comes to inflight incidents such as this. The confined space, sensitive operation and lack of security mean strict protocol needs to be followed. By diverting the flight, ground staff could deal with the man more effectively. 

Previously, an American Airlines passenger claimed that a flight attendant assaulted him during a flight. The incident happened in January, on Flight 1798 from Charlotte, NC, to Philadelphia, PA. Later on this year, a disruptive American Airlines passenger was forcibly removed from the aircraft.

Furthermore, a highly intoxicated United Airlines passenger assaulted flight attendants in March. This caused the man to face 21 years in jail due to the severity of the incident. Ultimately, it can scary to deal with assault situations while on a flight. Careful measures need to be taken with every incident.

Simple Flying reached out to American Airlines regarding the incident but didn’t hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What do you think about the way American Airlines dealt with this week’s incident that resulted in a diversion to Tulsa? Let us know your thoughts on the events in the comment section.

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On a flight from Philadelphia to Denver I witnessed an older passenger (with his wife actually sitting right next to him) slapping the stewardess on her bum. With the support of the co-pilot she confronted the culprit. They threatened to have him arrested if he wouldn’t apologize immediately and promise never to do it again. I wonder what makes these passengers believe they can get away with such behavior. Could it be the bad example of a certain role model famous for his locker room talk?


Hmmmmmmm….I wonder who you could be talking about.

(On a side note, I wonder if James Clayton Cholewinski-Boy is going to use the ‘Hey – Donnie said it was OK’ defence?)


Exactly. I have seen the worst behavior from people on and off the plane. It makes me wonder who raised you? If you wait until you get out in public to act so egregious. They would never do that at home. It’s not ok.


So this flight was diverted, inconvencing all the passengers…. and then that piece of junk got released the next day????