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An airliner on its way from Los Angeles to San Francisco had to turn back after a male passenger allegedly began to choke a woman - reported the SkyNews.
It is claimed the drama unfolded after the woman tilted back her seat.
FBI agents met the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at the gate when it returned to LAX late on Sunday night after the pilot declared an emergency on board, and one person was removed.
Southwest spokeswoman Melissa Ford said there had been a "rapidly escalating" situation on board, culminating in a "physical altercation by one person against another".
She said the man and woman had not been travelling together.
A passenger called Melanie wrote on Instagram that the row began after the woman tilted her seat back.
Comedian and radio host Mark Curry, who was also on board, told KNTV-TV: "I thought it was a terrorist so I jumped up. The woman was saying he grabbed her neck, saying 'he choked me! He choked me! He hit me in the head!'"
Curry, who starred in TV comedy Hangin' with MrCooper in the 1990s, and who now hosts a morning radio show in San Francisco, added: "The lady was frantic.
"They wanted me to put restraints on the guy. They asked me if I would help. I said, 'At 30,000ft, yes! I'll beat anybody down.' It was an incredible situation."
The man was detained for questioning.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the investigation was ongoing, but no arrest had been made.
The remaining 136 passengers switched planes and took off again for San Francisco just after midnight.