UPDATE: The attorney representing Aaron Sweeney has released the following statement to FOX 7.
Aaron is a United States Army retired Sergeant who bravely served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He is embarrassed and devastated over his recent conduct and looks forward to conveying his sincere apologies to everyone involved. While it does not completely dismiss his behavior, I hope that the public is sympathetic to the realities of posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of experiencing combat.
New details are emerging about the dispute on the Southwest flight from Austin to Chicago.
Southwest flight 3590 was already delayed when it took off from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport headed for Chicago Midway, but not long after taking to the sky the flight was turned around.
According to the Austin Police Department, police officers were called to ABIA shortly after 4 pm on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 after a fight broke out on board an aircraft. A flight attendant told police officers she was at the rear of the plane when she heard a disturbance.
The flight attendant went to investigate and found a male with another male in a headlock.
The male, 28-year-old Aaron Michael Sweeney, was applying the headlock and using his other hand to repeatedly punch the victim's head with a closed fist. Both Sweeney and the other passenger were escorted from the aircraft by police officers with the Austin Police Department.
According to the victim, he does not know Sweeney. The victim stated in the affidavit that he was sitting next to Sweeney on their plane when Sweeney grabbed him and placed him in a headlock.
The victim told police officers that at first he thought Sweeney was playing around.
He asked Sweeney to 'cut it out' but Sweeney placed him in a headlock again before punching him.
When Sweeney was placed under arrest by police officers, he became aggressive.
According to the arresting officers, Sweeney had to be strapped into a wheelchair. While strapped in the wheelchair Sweeney became continuously combative and at one point kicked one of the officers.
Aaron Michael Sweeney was charged with assault on a public servant, a third degree felony.