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Watch: Penn State professor arrested for ranting, smoking on plane

Posted at 3:38 PM, Mar 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-17 15:42:47-04

MIAMI (AP) — An associate sociology professor at Penn State University faces disorderly conduct charges after being removed from an American Airlines flight.

Officials say 52-year-old Karen Halnon started a rant about U.S-Venezuela relations about half way through a Saturday flight from Nicaragua to Miami.

A passenger on the plane caught the rant on video, which was posted on local television websites. It also showed her lighting a cigarette and blaming it on another passenger. Flight attendants requested that police meet the flight in Miami. Halnon was taken into custody, questioned and arrested on disorderly conduct and breach of peace charges.

Halnon told Miami television stations that she felt compelled to speak up after spending a week of researching in Nicaragua.

Halnon bonded out of jail and returned to Pennsylvania.

Karen Halnon started a rant about U.S-Venezuela relations about half way through a Saturday flight from Nicaragua to Miami.

Karen Halnon started a rant about U.S-Venezuela relations about half way through a Saturday flight from Nicaragua to Miami.