Bay Area Man Charged After Choking, Punching Fellow Air Passenger Who Reclined Her Seat: DOJ

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Southwest

A Southwest Airlines plane is seen in a file photo. (Credit: KTLA)

A man accused of choking and punching a woman on a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco because she reclined her seat has been indicted for the alleged attack, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Lawrence Wells, 54, is charged with assault causing serious bodily injury after he allegedly hit the woman about 10 minutes into the flight Oct. 18.

Wells, a Bay Area resident, was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles, where he was expecting to only answer to a citation for the incident, authorities said. He was scheduled to be arraigned in the afternoon and would probably post bail, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.

Flight 2010 left L.A. International Airport about 10:30 p.m. and landed back at the airport about 15 minutes later because of a “rapidly escalating situation” involving two passengers who weren’t traveling together, Southwest said in a statement.

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