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Sarasota officer arrested after allegedly boarding flight drunk and attacking flight attendant

Posted: 2:57 AM, Nov 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-12 07:57:57Z
Sarasota officer arrested after allegedly boarding flight drunk and attacking flight attendant

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- An off-duty Florida police officer has been arrested after allegedly being forced off an airplane because he was drunk and battered an airline staffer.

Pinellas County Sheriff's officials say 51-year-old Derrick Gilbert smelled of alcohol and was yelling profanities at Allegiant Airline staff when deputies arrived at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Friday. Authorities said he initially refused to leave the plane after staff said they have a zero tolerance policy for intoxication.

Airline staff said Gilbert was so drunk on the plane he couldn't find his seat, was slurring his speech and appeared confused. A witness said Gilbert pushed a female airline staffer and later angrily grabbed his 18-year-old son by the neck when the teen tried to calm Gilbert.

Gilbert is an officer with Sarasota Police. He is charged with battering airline staff, domestic battery and trespassing.