Smoking, Unruly Passenger Diverts Flight

A Honolulu-bound jetliner was diverted on Tuesday when a female passenger who had smoked in the lavatory became unruly, federal officials said.

Delta Air Lines Flight 511, a nonstop flight from Cincinnati, was over the Pacific Ocean when the passenger hit a pilot who had left the cockpit to quell the disturbance, said a fellow passenger who called The Associated Press from San Francisco International Airport.

"She appeared to be out of her mind. Upset. Belligerent," said Elizabeth Oglesby of Atlanta. "He threatened to handcuff her if she didn't calm down. At that point she hit him in the chest."

The woman was given oxygen and taken to the hospital after the plane landed.

Officials with the Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration did not immediately release the name of the passenger, and it was not clear whether she would be charged. It is a federal crime to smoke on a commercial flight.

The Boeing 767 landed safely at about 1 p.m. and resumed its flight about an hour later, said Delta spokeswoman Chris Kelly.

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