James ‘Clay’ Cholewinski had to be escorted from the flight on Tuesday after the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Tulsa, Oklahoma
A Utah speedskater who tried out for the 2014 Winter Olympics has been charged with public intoxication after he allegedly assaulted a woman and her daughter on an American Airlines flight.
James ‘Clay’ Cholewinski had to be escorted from the flight on Tuesday after the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A passenger managed to snap the moment Tulsa Police escorted Cholewinski off the flight – that had been going from Charlotte-Douglas, North Carolina, to Salt Lake City, Utah.
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The American Airline flight had been going from Charlotte-Douglas, North Carolina, to Salt Lake City, Utah, but was diverted because of Cholewinski (in blue)
Witnesses on the plane say that chaos unfolded when the mother and daughter frantically alerted flight attendants that they had been assaulted by the man,’ WCNC reports.
Cholewinski is a seasoned speedskater, having last competed in the 2014/2015 season. He even tried out for the 2014 Winter Olympic team, not making the cut
While the plane worked to secure an emergency landing, Cholewinski and the pair were separated from each other.
The 32-year-old was arrested by Tulsa authorities and charged with public intoxication.
Tulsa authorities have handed over the investigation to the FBI.
In a statement, American Airlines shared that the flight did eventually continue to its destination.
‘American Airlines flight 807 from Charlotte to Salt Lake City diverted to Tulsa, Oklahoma last night due to a disruptive passenger,’ they said in the statement. ‘Law enforcement met the flight, removed the passenger, and the flight continued to Salt Lake City.’
Cholewinski is a seasoned speedskater, having last competed in the 2014/2015 season.
According to data from Speeds Skating News, Cholewinski tried out to be a member of the US Olympic team for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
He ultimately did not make the team, coming in 7th and 9th in the two events he competed in.
Cholewinski is currently listed as being retired.