US Airways Passenger Dies In Holding Cell After Airport Arrest

A US Airways passenger who was late for her flight and denied boarding by the gate crew became agitated and caused enough of a stir that she was arrested, according to USAToday.

The woman was placed in handcuffs and taken to a holding cell where she was found dead sometime later. It’s suspected that she may have been trying to escape the handcuffs and accidentally choked herself to death, but the exact cause of death is unknown.

From USA Today:

Carol Ann Gotbaum, 45, of New York, was arrested Friday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after a conflict with gate crews who refused to allow her to board a plane, said Sgt. Andy Hill, a Phoenix police spokesman.

The airline said the plane was already preparing to depart. She was rebooked on the next flight, but “she became extremely irate, apparently running up and down the gate area,” US Airways spokesman Derek Hanna said Saturday.

Officers handcuffed her and took her to the holding room, where she kept screaming, authorities said. Hill said officers checked on her when she stopped screaming and found her unresponsive.

Hill said it appears Gotbaum may have tried to get out of her handcuffs, became tangled in the process and the cuffs ended up around her neck. A cause of death will be determined by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner.

Woman dies after airport arrest [USAToday]

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