KINGMAN - Marilyn Parver got on her flight to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas like every other passenger.
The 56-year-old Kingman resident stored her carry-on luggage before making sure her seat belt was fastened and her chair was in its upright position. She even enjoyed two glasses of wine with the meal she had brought onboard with her on the nearly six-hour flight that left from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
Unlike the other passengers on the flight, Parver was led off the plane in handcuffs by law enforcement officials when the plane landed at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas around 10:20 p.m.
"You cannot imagine what it felt like," Parver said. "I knew I had done nothing wrong."
Parver said she believes she was wrongfully detained for refusing to delete from her camera an in-flight argument between passengers on July 26.
"I was taking photos from my window seat of clouds, and I was wearing a noise-reduction headset with a TV show playing loudly in my ears," Parver said. "Even with the headset on, I had been able to hear a very loud child seated a few rows in front of me annoying everyone for approximately two hours.
"Suddenly, I heard loud shouts and removed my headset," she added. "I realized that the man seated next to the loud child had finally lost it."
At that point, the child's mother and the passenger were yelling at each other, Parver added.
"On instinct, I turned my video camera towards the altercation," Parver said.
Having just left from a visit with her grandchild in Boston, Parver said she thought the video would be a good example to show her daughter how children's behavior affects other people.
Parver said she did not leave her seat or even stand up in it.
"I was not interested in who was involved, I just wanted the words being said," Parver added, "so I did not adjust the exposure and kept everyone in full shadow."
In the less than two-minute video, an off-screen man can be heard yelling at a woman to control her child and the mother responding also in anger.
"A JetBlue employee settles the dispute very appropriately," Parver said. "There was no violence or extreme behavior."
Approximately 30 minutes after the dispute, Parver said she was approached by the flight crew who were asking passengers questions about the altercation. When Parver told them she had recorded the incident, they requested she accompany them to the back of the plane, Parver said.
There she showed the video to three or four crew members, Parver said.
"After viewing the video, they demanded that I delete it," Parver said. "I asked, 'Why?' The head-stewardess went as far as to tell me that I had broken a law by using an electronic item during the flight."
At that time, another flight attendant accused Parver of wanting to put it up on YouTube, a video-sharing Web site.
"I do not even know how to download a video on the Internet," Parver said.
After refusing and returning to her seat, the crew asked Parver to return to the back of the plane again, she said.
"This time they told me that the captain demanded that I delete the video," Parver added.
Parver requested to speak to the captain by telephone to confirm the demand. She was not granted this request.
"If the captain had nicely asked me to delete the video, I don't think I would have disobeyed a pilot," Parver said.
Parver again refused the flight crew's request. At that point, one attendant told Parver that if she disobeyed the captain, federal agents would be involved and she could face criminal penalties.
"This was all a case of bullying," Parver said.
She added she felt the whole situation did not seem right.
"I'm a rational, non-threatening 56-year-old grandmother who was complying with every request the flight crew made, other than delete two minutes of video," Parver said. "I knew I had done nothing wrong and that the flight crew was out of line to demand I delete a video."
Parver said she politely told the flight crew that she would accept being arrested since she did not believe she had broken any laws and returned to her seat.
A few minutes later she was given a yellow slip of paper notifying Parver to cease her illegal behavior or risk very serious repercussions with the phrase "Interference with an airline crew member" circled. The offense has a maximum punishment of $10,000 in fines and 25 years in jail.
"How could the flight crew falsely accuse me of a federal crime?" Parver said. "I only left my seat when I was asked to follow them. I only spoke when they spoke to me. I blocked no one. I never turned on a light. And I never brought my camera out again after receiving this notice."
Bryan Baldwin, the manager of corporate communications for JetBlue Airways, said their legal department is currently looking into the incident, and he cannot comment.
When the plane landed, the captain made an announcement that everyone would need to remain in their seats while federal agents come on board to take a passenger into custody.
When they landed, Parver said she unsuccessfully tried to reach her 72-year-old husband on her cell phone and eventually contacted her daughter in Boston to explain she was being arrested.
Parver said she was escorted off the flight by two police officers, a TSA agent and a JetBlue Airways representative in handcuffs.
"I was treated as if I was a gun-toting terrorist," Parver added.
Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gregory S. Alter with Federal Air Marshal Service said the Transportation Security Administration Office of Law Enforcement has no record of an incident since they were not involved.
Parver said she did not resist arrest and was taken to the counter across from the arrival gate, where her handcuffs were removed. She gave her camera to the individuals who had removed her from the plane.
"The police, a JetBlue rep and a TSA official all looked at the video and agreed that it was too dark to really see who was on it and that it clearly had been shot from my seat, so I had not interfered with anything that was going on," Parver said. "I assumed that was the end of it." At that point, the representative with JetBlue requested that she delete the video, Parver added.
"He informed me that if I didn't immediately delete it, I could never fly on JetBlue again," she said. "He said that he would be filing a report that would be shared with other airlines, and I might have a hard time getting any airline to let me fly."
Parver requested a written notice that she was going to be denied service from the airline, as well as possibly others. The representative and LVMPD officers then asked her to leave, Parver said.
Parver then asked for everyone's name, when the officer told her to leave or be arrested, she said.
"I said, 'Then arrest me.'"
At that point the officer arrested her, pushed her against the wall and forced her down a flight of stairs, Parver said.
On the trip to the station, Parver said the officer accused her of being drunk.
"When I tried to explain anything, I was told I could not talk, only he could talk," Parver added.
The officer explained to Parver she was under arrest for disobeying an officer, she said. After sitting in a dark room on a wooden bench, the officer told her the flight crew told the law enforcement officials that she had taken pictures of the cockpit, the galley and other suspicious things on board, Parver said.
Her husband arrived, and she was released with bruises on her legs and marks on her wrists from the handcuffs.
Without a citation or arrest made, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department doesn't have documentation of the incident, officer Jay Rivera said.
"All they were doing then was teaching me a lesson for saying, 'Go ahead, arrest me,'" Parver said. "I think JetBlue got me into this mess."
Since that night, Parver has written formal complaints to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Aviation Consumer Protection Agency, the TSA and JetBlue. Parver said FedEx has confirmed delivering her complaints to the Aviation Consumer Protection Agency and so on. Parver has left a complaint with TSA on their Web site, which they keep sending back to her telling her to contact other agencies.
"They weren't doing anything on it but passing the buck to other people," Parver said.
She doesn't plan to let this incident rest, Parver said. "This could have happened to anyone, but few would have stood up to the threats," Parver said. "This should never happen in America."