Airborne Flasher Sends Plane to Airport, Woman to Hospital

Inflight fight in the buff turns Southwest jet around

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what if you haven't even gotten there yet?

A Southwest flight with 108 passengers headed from Oakland, Calif. to Las Vegas turned around this morning after a 300-pound man punched a woman on board and then stripped naked. Both were taken off the plane and taken away in ambulances.

One of the passengers, Steve Lichliter, was on the plane accompanying his daughter to college at Penn State.

She took a photo of the man -- sans clothing.

Here's Lichliter's story, according to an email forwarded to

Well our flight started ok but about 30 minutes out of Oakland a big guy started hassling other passengers then took off all his clothes. A posse of redneck vigilantes was quickly formed by the stewardesses and they were given restraining devices and taught how to tie the guy up after they got him pinned face down in the aisle. I offered to sit on top of him afterwards, as long as he was face down and tied up!

 The pilot turned around and we came back to Oakland. The vigilantes never got to do their job as we landed without incident and about 10 big cops came in and took the dude away.

The man has been identified as Darius Chapille, 21, from Jefferson City, Missouri.

  J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, said that the naked passenger was a man with a Missouri driver's license who exposed himself to a female passenger. She screamed and the suspect then punched her, according to Nelson, and then started to remove his clothing. A t that point, flight attendants and other passengers subdued the man, Nelson said, who continued to strip during the struggle.

Chapille was completely naked when deputies boarded the plane to take him into custody. Alameda County deputies covered him with a blanket as they escorted him off the plane.   That part of the adventure was captured on video by passenger Kyle Gee.

Why'd they bother? With Bay to Breakers, Burning Man, and nude beaches, most Bay Area residents have a practically European attitude towards the unclothed human body -- unlike easily shocked New Yorkers, for whom nudity is such a novelty that there's a ruckus about a photography exhibit celebrating the city's local flashers.

And if they covered him with an airline blanket, it's hard to picture how the flimsy scrap of cloth even covered him.

Violence against women, though, is no laughing matter. And police say the suspected perp hit the woman hard enough to put her in the hospital. Let's all agree: a flash of flesh, sure; flailing fists, no.

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