Plane diverted in Wichita due to unruly passenger, woman later arrested at restaurant

Published: Mar. 13, 2022 at 5:31 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A United Airlines flight from Hunstville, Ala., headed to Denver was diverted to Wichita on Sunday. The Wichita Airport Authority said the flight was diverted after a passenger failed to comply with the airline’s guidelines.

Zara Lowry was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 5303. She told our sister station, WAFF, located in Huntsville, that she witnessed the woman’s unruly behavior.

“Cursing around the children around the back there, she refused to wear her mask, they escorted her off the plane,” said passenger Zara Lowry.

Officers said the lady was escorted off the plane without incident. While she was not arrested by airport police, she was arrested by Wichita police later that evening.

Around 6 p.m on Sunday, Wichita police officers were called to Twin Peaks in west Wichita after someone reported an individual acting erratic and strange. Officers arrived and made contact with a woman who then assaulted and battered one of the officers, according to police.

Clara Lambert, 33 of New Market, Alabama, was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail for assault and battery of a law enforcement officer. Sources confirm she was also the unruly passenger from earlier in the day. Lowry said Lambert, not wearing a mask, was trying to buy a drink from flight staff.

“The beverage cart was at the last two seats and there was this younger lady in the back and she had no mask on and she seemed to be having some kind of conflict with the payless system United has installed inside of the aircrafts,” Lowry said.

She said about 30 minutes later, there was an announcement the flight was about to land in Wichita, not the original destination of Denver.

Sources said Lambert, not arrested by airport police for what she allegedly did on the plane, left the airport and made her way to the Twin Peaks restaurant across the highway. Hours later, police responded to the restaurant because the woman, identified as Lambert, was “acting strangely.”

Wichita police said Lambert assaulted and battered an officer after they responded to the call. The restaurant’s management team said it can’t comment on the situation. This isn’t Lambert’s first run-in with police.

In January, Lambert was arrested in Florida for battery of a law enforcement officer.

After the unexpected layover in Wichita on Sunday, Lowry says she was left scrambling to fix her trip. She says something needs to be done.

“We sat on the tarmac for about an hour and 45 minutes, and finally made it to Denver, two hours after our scheduled landing. We cannot pick up our rental car because the rental agency will be closed also, so we’re kind of scrambling trying to find a way to get from that regional airport to 1 and a half to our final destination,” said Lowry.

The FBI is now handling the investigation regarding the unruly passenger. While she was not arrested, she could still face charges and even be placed on a no-fly list.

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