Home Christian News Evangelist Arrested for Allegedly Assaulting Wife on Flight Because of Her Upgrade

Evangelist Arrested for Allegedly Assaulting Wife on Flight Because of Her Upgrade

alaska airlines
Screengrab from Facebook / @Roger Allan Holmberg Fan Club

A minister from Virginia was arrested after allegedly assaulting his wife aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 275 while traveling from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska, on July 2. Roger Allan Holmberg Sr. was reportedly angered that his wife had received an upgrade; he now faces a federal charge and has since been released from custody on his own recognizance.

An affidavit from FBI Special Agent Michael Harkless says that Anchorage Airport Police (AAP) Officer Barnes interviewed Holmberg’s wife (elsewhere identified as Patti). She said that Holmberg “struck her in the head with the back of his knuckles while she was seated in the first class cabin during the flight” and that he knew that hitting her head could cause a seizure because she has epilepsy. 

Patti also said Holmberg “had a history of abusing her and had broken [her] finger in an incident last September.” She told Barnes she had not reported the past abuse but wanted to after the alleged assault. 

Alaska Airlines Flight Disrupted

Harkless’ affidavit contains the testimony of two witnesses, as well as interviews with Holmberg and his wife. A witness identified as “MC” reported hearing Holmberg say, “How the hell did you get the upgrade?” MC said Holmberg’s wife replied, “I’m [a] gold point member. Don’t speak to me like that.”

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MC also described witnessing Holmberg handing his phone to his wife, telling her to read it and giving her the finger. Later, the minister “pushed in front of MC and attempted to swing his arm towards [the] victim,” according to the affidavit. MC tried to stop Holmberg, but Holmberg “still appeared to strike the top of [the] victim’s head with his hand.”

According to MC, Patti said her husband had been abusive in the past and had broken her finger.

Another witness, identified as “AS,” reported “hearing a disturbance between a male and female passenger behind AS in the first-class cabin.” The female passenger said, “You cannot be doing that,” after which AS realized that Holmberg had hit a woman in the head and then went to use the first class bathroom. Based on Holmberg’s interview, it appears that AS might have been a police officer.

After Holmberg returned from the bathroom, AS told him “if there were any further incidents, we would put him in handcuffs,” and Holmberg calmed down. AS also said a senior flight attendant said that Holmberg “had previously been disruptive to [the] victim prior to this incident.”

Barnes and Harkless interviewed Holmberg, who answered questions after being informed of his Miranda rights. Holmberg said his previous wife had passed away and that he and Patti had been married for a year-and-a-half, although they have known each other for 20 years.

Regarding the disruption over the seat upgrade, Holmberg said that he was “upset” she “had been upgraded to first class because he wanted his wife to travel with him and sit next to him. Although he was upset, he stated he was not a violent person and did not intend to hurt his wife.”