An Ohio man has been charged with attempted first-degree murder of a police officer after a violent chokehold incident at Orlando International Airport in Florida.
Edward Hariston, 41, was caught on video putting an officer in a chokehold so tight that the cop began to lose consciousness. The shocking video was later posted on TikTok.
According to authorities, the confrontation began during a chaotic scene involving enraged passengers and Spirit Airlines employees.
Police say the altercation escalated when officers responded to a large group of angry passengers who were shouting at Spirit Airlines employees near the ticket counter. According to a police report, an officer attempted to restrain Hariston by grabbing his arm while the man was striking a keyboard at the ticket counter, but Hariston resisted, leading to a physical struggle between the two.
In the video captured by a witness, Hariston gained the upper hand and placed the officer in a tight chokehold, causing the officer to experience dizziness and a loss of consciousness.
Fortunately, three other officers swiftly intervened, enabling the officer to break free from Hariston’s grip. Onlookers at the airport witnessed the distressing incident, with one woman seen screaming in disbelief.
The TikTok user who posted the video expressed their frustration, stating that their Spirit flight was canceled due to the chaos. The incident has sparked outrage among commenters, with some vowing never to fly with Spirit Airlines again and criticizing the airline for the disturbing incident.
“Never flying with Spirit again,” one commenter said on TikTok.
“This is the craziest s–t ever! You should be ashamed of yourselves, Spirit Airlines,” another replied.
Passengers who witnessed the altercation described feelings of fear and shock, as it was their first time flying for some. The incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. after several hours of delays and eventually flight cancelation.
Hariston was subsequently taken to the hospital for injuries sustained during the altercation. He appeared in court on Thursday in a wheelchair, and a public defender was appointed to represent him.
Hariston is now detained at Orange County Jail, facing multiple charges, including attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and battery on a law enforcement officer.
As the investigation continues, passengers who witnessed the incident remain shaken by the experience. Spirit Airlines has yet to respond to requests for comment on the matter.