US man charged for 'choking' woman who reclined plane seat

US man charged for 'choking' woman who reclined plane seat
PHOTO: The New Paper

Los Angeles - A California man has been charged with assault for allegedly punching and choking a woman after she reclined her seat on a flight.

Lawrence Wells, 54, of Richmond, California faces up to 10 years in prison over the October 18 incident that took place on board a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

According to the indictment, Wells assaulted the victim, identified only by her initials M.D, choking her and punching her in the head with a closed fist shortly after the plane took off.

"Approximately 10 minutes after the flight left the ground, the captain of the aircraft declared an emergency landing and returned to Los Angeles International Airport where law enforcement ... responded to investigate the assault allegation," the FBI said in a statement.

An FBI spokeswoman said the victim suffered a concussion.

Witnesses say Wells became upset after the woman put her seat back.

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