Pastor Faces Federal Charges For Hitting His Wife After She Got Her Plane Seat Upgraded

An elderly evangelical pastor has wound up in legal trouble for allegedly assaulting his wife aboard an Alaska Airlines flight.

The incident unfolded during the couple’s journey from Seattle to Anchorage on July 2.

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Roger Allan Holmberg Sr., 75, and Patti Holmberg, 59, who live in Virginia, were traveling for a meeting “related to their ministry” aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 275.

The pair have been married for just about 18 months after the death of the pastor’s previous wife.

A 75-year-old pastor, Roger Allan Holmberg Sr., and his wife, Patti Holmberg, were traveling aboard an Alaska Airlines flight when the incident took place

Image credits: Y S

While en route to Alaska, the couple had an altercation over Patti being upgraded to first class while he was stuck in coach.

They had tense exchanges during three separate incidents, where Roger went up to his wife’s seat to confront her mid-air, according to the criminal complaint, cited by The Independent.

“How the hell did you get the upgrade?” he demanded when he first got up from his seat and went up to her.

“I’m [a] gold point member,” she replied. “Don’t speak to me like that.”

When he went up to his wife for the second time, he handed his phone to her and told her to read the text on the screen.

He “then gave [her] the finger,” the complaint said.

The church leader was not happy after his wife was upgraded to first class while he was still flying coach

Image credits: Roger Allan Holmberg Fan Club

During the third confrontation, the church leader “pushed in front of” his wife’s seatmate “and attempted to swing his arm towards [the] victim,” according to the complaint.

The seatmate “leaned forward to block the attempted strike, but [Holmberg] still appeared to strike the top of [the] victim’s head with his hand,” the complaint continued. He then stormed off to the first-class lavatory.

“[Roger] wanted me to read something on his cell phone, so I just glanced over his phone, and I gave it right back to him, and then he sat down. And then a few moments later, he got back up and hit me on the head,” Patti recalled, as quoted by Alaska’s News Source.

Roger and Patti have been married for about 18 months after the death of his previous wife

Image credits: Roger Allan Holmberg Fan Club

An off-duty police officer was traveling aboard the same flight and sitting one row in front of Patti.

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The cop noticed “a disturbance” between the couple and heard the wife telling her husband, “You cannot be doing that.”

After the pastor came out of the lavatory, the officer told him that he would be restrained if he continued his behavior.

“If there were any further incidents, we would put him in handcuffs,” the complaint quoted the law enforcement agent’s words.

“How the hell did you get the upgrade?” the pastor demanded, to which his wife responded, “I’m [a] gold point member. Don’t speak to me like that”

Image credits: alaskaair

The flight’s crew was informed of the incident, and they went on to alert law enforcement.

Upon the flight’s landing at 6:41 p.m., an FBI special agent and an Anchorage Airport Police officer were at the scene waiting for the plane’s arrival.

In a chilling revelation, Holmberg’s wife disclosed to authorities that such aggression from the pastor was not isolated.

She said he “had a history of abusing her,” and he had broken her finger during an altercation in September.

While aboard the plane, she recounted her husband had “struck her in the head with the back of his knuckles” and said he “knew [she] had epilepsy and that contact to [her] head could cause a seizure,” according to the complaint.

Her finger was still bandaged when she gave her recent complaint.

She said she “had thought about reporting the abuse in the past but never did. However, after this incident she wanted to report it.”

The 59-year-old wife told law enforcement that her husband “had a history of abusing her” and had broken her finger during an altercation in September

Image credits: Roger Allan Holmberg Fan Club

The officials also interrogated Roger upon arrival in Alaska. The pastor said he and his wife have been seeing a marriage counselor to iron out the wrinkles in their relationship.

He also blamed their marriage issues entirely on his wife and claimed she had “anger issues,” according to the complaint.

“[Holmberg] stated [his wife] was disrespectful to him often and had anger issues,” read the complaint. “[She] had grabbed [Holmberg’s] leg in the past while [he] was driving a vehicle and broke her finger. [Holmberg] also stated [his wife] had grabbed his genitals in the past with such force that [he] was in pain.”

During the interrogation, the religious leader downplayed their mid-flight argument and said he merely “tapped his wife on the head in passing to get her attention.”

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

He also claimed the entire dilemma was sparked because he was “upset” that Patti got bumped up to first class “because he wanted his wife to travel with him and sit next to him.”

The pastor was arrested and taken into custody on charges of simple assault. He was transferred to the Anchorage Correctional Center and eventually released.

He is currently prohibited from coming within 100 yards of his wife.

Roger was arrested upon landing and eventually released, and he is currently prohibited from coming within 100 yards of his wife

Image credits: Roger Allan Holmberg Fan Club

A spokesperson for Alaska Airlines acknowledged the incident and said the pastor is no longer allowed to fly with the airline.

“Mr. Holmberg has been banned from our flights and a simple assault charge was filed against him by the U.S. Gov’t. (FBI) on July 3rd,” the spokesperson told ABC News.

Patti said after the incident that she has suffered recent injuries from her husband’s history of abuse.

“I can’t continue on this way,” she told Alaska’s News Source.

She also encouraged other women to come forward and speak up if they are victims of domestic abuse.

“I wish more women could, you know, stand up for themselves and just say that person is not worth my time,” she said. “You know, I love him, but I love him enough to let him go.”

The internet agreed that there is absolutely “no excuse” for the pastor’s behavior

The post Pastor Faces Federal Charges For Hitting His Wife After She Got Her Plane Seat Upgraded first appeared on Bored Panda.
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