Pastor facing federal charge for allegedly assaulting wife over seat upgrade

Bradley Caslin /

An evangelical pastor is facing federal charges after allegedly hitting his wife in the head because she got upgraded to first class and he was not.

Roger Allan Holmberg, 75, was on flight AS 275 from Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) with his wife on July 2, 2024.

The couple were traveling to Alaska for “ministry-related” meetings, according to the criminal complaint seen by The Independent.

In the complaint, a passenger who was seated next to Holmberg’s wife detailed how the pastor, who was in economy class, stormed the first class cabin to confront his wife.

Holmberg allegedly demanded, “How the hell did you get upgraded?” to which his 59-year old wife replied: “I’m a gold point member. Don’t speak to me like that.”

The complaint stated that Holmberg went to his wife a second time, handed her his mobile phone and told her to read what’s on the screen before giving her “the finger”.

The pastor went back for a third time where he “pushed in front of” his wife’s seatmate “and attempted to swing his arm towards [the] victim,” according to the complaint. The seatmate attempted to block the strike, but Holmberg managed to still hit his wife’s head with his hand.

The complaint also stated that Holmber’s wife later admitted to the seatmate that the pastor had assaulted her in the past, with one incident leaving her with a broken finger.

An off-duty police officer was sitting in front of Holmberg’s wife and told the pastor, “you cannot be doing that,” after observing the alleged assault. 

When the flight landed in Anchorage, Holmberg was met by an FBI agent and an airport police officer. 

During questioning, Holmberg’s wife, who suffers from epilepsy, told the officers that she had been assaulted in the past. Holmberg told investigators that he and his wife had been seeing a counselor to manage their relationship but seemed to blame the incidents entirely on his wife.

According to the complaint, Holmberg said he did not mean to strike his wife during the flight, but rather just wanted to “tap” her on the head to get her attention.

Holmberg was arrested on one count of simple assault within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States and transported to the Anchorage Correctional Center to await his arraignment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

AeroTime is on YouTube

Subscribe to the AeroTime Hub channel for exclusive video content.

Subscribe to AeroTime Hub