ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - An off-duty Florida police officer has been arrested after allegedly being forced off an airplane because he was drunk and battered an airline staffer.
Pinellas County Sheriff's officials say 51-year-old Derrick Gilbert smelled of alcohol and was yelling profanities at Allegiant Airline staff when deputies arrived at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Friday. Authorities said he initially refused to leave the plane after staff said they have a zero tolerance policy for intoxication.
Airline staff said Gilbert was so drunk on the plane he couldn't find his seat, was slurring his speech and appeared confused. A witness said Gilbert pushed a female airline staffer and later angrily grabbed his 18-year-old son by the neck when the teen tried to calm Gilbert.
Gilbert is an officer with Sarasota Police. He is charged with battering airline staff, domestic battery and trespassing.