A priest accused of assaulting his wife on a flight because she managed to upgrade to a first class seat

An elderly evangelical pastor is facing federal charges for allegedly assaulting his wife on a plane because she failed to get an upgrade to first class.

The ugly physical attack occurred July 2 aboard Alaska Airlines flight 275 from Seattle to Anchorage, after Roger Allan Holmberg Sr., 75, verbally abused each other and flipped her the bird in front of the cabin of horror travelers, according to a criminal complaint received. with The Independent.

The couple was traveling to Alaska from their home in Virginia for a meeting “related to his ministry,” the complaint, filed July 3, says. He says the Holmbergs knew each other for 20 years before they got married a year ago. -half ago, after the death of his wife before Holmberg.

Holmberg, who does not have an attorney listed in court records and is scheduled to make an initial appearance in Anchorage federal court Monday morning, remains in custody and could not be reached for comment. A phone number listed for him in public records was out of service Sunday night. Holmberg’s wife 59 years old, whose name The Independent aware of it but holding back for her privacy, she did not respond to voicemails and texts seeking comment.

According to the complaint, a passenger sitting in first class next to Holmberg’s wife, who is not identified by name in the filing, said things started to go south shortly after the 3.5-hour flight took off bottom.

In the first of three separate incidents, Holmberg, who was a flight coach, confronted his wife in her seat, the complaint states.

“How did you get the upgrade?” Holmberg demanded of her, the complaint states.

“I am [a] a gold point member,” replied Holmberg’s wife. “Don’t talk to me like that.”

During the second interaction, Holmberg walked up to his wife and handed her his phone, told her to read what was on the screen, “then gave [her] the finger,” the complaints say.

When Holmberg went back for the third confrontation, he “pushed in front of” his wife’s colleague “and tried to swing her arm towards [the] victim,” according to the complaint. The seatmate “proceeded to block the strike attempt, but [Holmberg] it looked like he was still hitting the top of the victim’s head with his hand,” the complaint continues, noting that Holmberg’s wife later said she had roughed him up in the past, leaving an altercation she is the only one with a broken finger.

If convicted at trial, Roger Allan Holmberg Sr. faces up to a year in prison.  (AP)

If convicted at trial, Roger Allan Holmberg Sr. faces up to a year in prison. (AP)

An off-duty police officer sitting across from Holmberg’s wife “interrupted” her and Holmberg, and Holmberg’s wife heard him tell him, “You can’t be doing that,” according to the complaint.

The officer soon realized that Holmberg had hit his wife in the head, after which he headed toward a first-class restroom, the complaint states. He says when Holmberg got out of the bathroom, the police told Holmberg “if there were any more incidents, I would put him in cuffs.” Holmberg “ceased his interference at this point,” the complaint states.

An FBI special agent, as well as an Anchorage Airport Police officer, met the plane when it landed at 6:41 p.m., according to the complaint.

Holmberg’s wife, who was not stressed or bleeding significantly, told authorities she had a “history of abuse from her husband,” and told the story of Holmberg breaking her finger in last September, the complaint says. She said Holmberg “hit her in the head with the back of his knuckles” on board the plane, adding that Holmberg “knew [she] that he had epilepsy and that contact with [her] the head could cause a seizure,” the complaint continues.

The complaint states that Holmberg’s wife, whose finger was still in a stretcher, “thought about reporting the abuse in the past but never did. However, after this incident, she wanted to report it.”

When questioned by airport police and the FBI, Holmberg said he and his wife were seeing a marriage counselor in an attempt to mend rifts in their relationship. But, according to the complaint, Holmberg blamed her entirely.

“[Holmberg] mentioned [his wife] he was often disrespectful and had anger issues,” the complaint states. “[She] was born [Holmberg’s] leg in the past tense [he] he was driving a vehicle and broke his finger. [Holmberg] also mentioned [his wife] Her genitals had been born in the past with that force [he] he was in pain.”

Holmberg claimed he was “upset” about his wife’s upgrade to first class “because he wanted his wife to travel with him and sit next to him,” according to the complaint. He says Holmberg downplayed the severity of the strike, telling investigators he “just ripped his wife apart trying to get her attention.”

“Although he was upset, he stated that he was not a violent person and did not intend to hurt his wife,” the complaint states.

Holmberg was arrested on one count of simple assault within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States and transported to the Anchorage Correctional Center to await his arraignment, set for Monday at 10:30 local time.

If convicted at trial, Holmberg faces up to a year in prison. Alaska Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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