Passenger kicked off flight for poking snoring man with a pen

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CHICAGO — Passengers, keep your pens to yourself.

A female flier was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight Thursday after allegedly jabbing another passenger in the arm with a pen.

The passenger “was removed from the flight for poking her seatmate with a pen to stop him from snoring,” Southwest said in a statement.

But it’s unclear whether snoring was the root cause of the incident.

Michael Sutton said his friend was asleep as Flight 577 was taxiing down the runway at Chicago’s Midway International Airport en route to Manchester, New Hampshire, when a woman got agitated and stuck him in the arm with a pen. “I was right beside him the whole time. Didn’t hear snoring,” he wrote in an email.

“His arm brushed up against hers on the armrest. She took her pen and stabbed his arm several times causing him to yell out in pain,” Sutton said.

Sutton, a photographer and filmmaker who lives in New Hampshire, tweeted about the incident from the plane Thursday afternoon. Sutton and his friend were connecting through Chicago on their way back from a multimedia convention in Las Vegas.

The pilot returned the aircraft to the gate, where the woman was removed from the flight.

The flight, which was already delayed, took off for Manchester after the woman was removed. It was slated to arrive in New Hampshire about two hours late, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.

“The passenger in question will be accommodated on a later flight,” a Southwest spokeswoman said. “No injuries were reported.”

No serious injuries, anyway.

“Luckily he wore a thick long sleeve shirt or there would have been blood,” Sutton wrote about the incident. “He will have a few bruises in the morning.”

Sutton said Southwest treated them to free drinks, and “the passengers cheered when they heard she wasn’t coming back on.”