The Philadelphia Police Department is investigating an incident in which a flight attendant said she was slapped in the face by a city police officer aboard a US Airways flight after it landed yesterday morning at Philadelphia International Airport.
The attendant, Leslie Miller, said she was concluding her final flight, ending a 27-year career with the airline, when a female officer boarded Flight 80 from San Diego and announced that she was responding to a medical emergency.
There was no emergency, though a man requiring a wheelchair was supposed to be carried off the plane, said Miller, 47, who lives in Florida.
A dispute between the officer and the flight crew arose over whether passengers could leave the plane. Miller said she was trying to get her personal luggage when her hand brushed against the officer's arm. The officer then slapped her hard on the right side of her face and threatened to arrest her, she said.
"Even though I did nothing wrong, I was scared to death I was going to jail," Miller said. "I was shaking."
Inspector William Colarulo confirmed that police received a complaint of an officer slapping a flight attendant.
"It's being investigated," Colarulo said. He did not know the officer's name.
Airline spokeswoman Elise Eberwein said the airline also would conduct its own investigation. Eberwein said the final flight for an attendant is a "pretty big deal."
"That's a terrible way to end a career," Eberwein said.
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