A Spirit Airlines passenger has been charged with attempted murder after placing an airport police officer in a chokehold at Orlando International Airport (MCO).
The incident occurred on June 27, 2023 at the Spirit Airlines check-in counter in Terminal B of MCO Airport.
Officers said they responded to the Spirit Ticket Counter at the MCO airport about a group of passengers who were becoming aggressive with Spirit staff, an arrest affidavit states.
Based on reports from local media, the accused, Edward Hariston, aged 41, reached behind the ticket counter and started harassing airline staff, grabbed the computer keyboard and started hitting buttons.
The officer who intervened told Fox 35 Orlando that he grabbed Hariston’s arm to prevent further damage to the property and Hariston grabbed his arm.
The officer said he pushed Hariston to “create distance”. Hariston then grabbed the officer’s hands, lowered his body, and began pushing him backward.
“We both fell onto the ground and Hariston put one of his arms around my neck in a chokehold and began to squeeze, restricting my airway, making it unable for me to breathe,” the police officer wrote in the arrest report. “I began to get dizzy and immediately spotty, as my airflow was restricted, and I was beginning to lose consciousness.”
Video footage of the attack was captured by one of the many witnesses at the airport.
Hariston was arrested the same day on multiple charges, including attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer. The Orange County circuit judge set bail at more than $50,000.