However, Brafford confronted the woman in her new seat, and when the flight attendant spoke to him, he responded with obscenities and began yelling, according to the criminal complaint.
The flight attendant notified the pilot, who diverted the flight to Albuquerque, the Morning News reported. In an interview with authorities, Brafford said that he and the woman had been watching videos on her computer and that he thought she was flirting with him, according to the complaint.
“The safety and comfort of everyone on board every operating aircraft is our highest concern," Southwest Airlines said in a statement.
Brafford faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for interfering with the flight crew, the Morning News reported. The assault charge carries a penalty of up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.