Ohio man charged with attempted murder of officer after uproar at OIA Spirit Airlines ticket counter

ORLANDO, Fla. — A man from Ohio was arrested in Orlando Wednesday after police say he tried to strangle an officer responding to a disturbance at Orlando International Airport.


According to an incident report, police were called to the Spirit Airlines ticket counter at the airport just after 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The responding officers arrived to find there was already a large group of people who were “becoming aggressive with the Spirit staff and threatening them.”

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The officers noted some of the people were yelling at the staff at various ticket counters with some actually entering the space behind the counters.

According to the report, as officers attempted to calm the crowd, another Spirit employee requested assistance with a particularly aggressive customer, later identified as 41-year-old Edward Hariston of Parma, Ohio.

The ticket agent said Hariston had assaulted him.

As the officers approached Hariston, he was leaning over the counter arguing with a staff member as a woman who was with him stood behind the counter on the baggage scales while also yelling at the staff.

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According to the report, when Hariston reached behind the counter and grabbed a computer keyboard, one of the responding officers grabbed his arm. Police say Hariston then grabbed the officer’s arms, lowered his body, and tackled the officer to the ground.

While on the ground, the report says Hariston put the officer in a chokehold and began to squeeze.

“I began to get dizzy and immediately spotty as my airflow was restricted and I was beginning to lose consciousness,” the officer said in the report.

The officer was able to break free as other officers arrived to help restrain Hariston, the report states.

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According to the report, the officer says Hariston later made comments that he “let me live” and “he could’ve killed me.”

Hariston was booked into the Orange County jail Wednesday on charges of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, and disorderly conduct.

He’s being held there with no bond set.

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