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Pastor accused of assaulting wife over flight upgrade

Pastor accused of assaulting wife over flight upgrade

A pastor is facing federal charges after allegedly punching his wife in the head during a flight when she was upgraded and he was not.

The incident reportedly occurred on July 2 aboard an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska.

According to the complaint, Roger Allan Holmberg, Sr. and his wife were traveling for a ministry-related event.

According to witnesses interviewed by Anchorage airport police and described in the complaint, Holmberg asked his wife, “How the hell did you get that upgrade?”

File image of a Boeing 737-990 owned by Alaska Airlines flying into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska on July 2, 2024.

Hasan Akbas/Anadolu via Getty Images, ARCHIVES

She replied, “I’m a member of Gold Point. Don’t talk to me like that.”

According to the complaint, Holmberg allegedly handed his phone to his wife from the driveway, told her to read it and made a gesture with his middle finger.

Shortly after handing her his phone, Holmberg allegedly attempted to swing at his wife and hit her on the top of the head.

Another witness told airport police, according to the complaint, that Holmberg went to the first-class bathroom after the incident. When he came out, the witness confronted him and said, “If there were any more incidents, we would put him in handcuffs.”

In her interview with airport police, Holmberg’s wife said he hit her on the head with the back of his knuckles. She said Holmberg knew she was epileptic and that touching her head could trigger a seizure. She said he had been a victim of violence in the past and had broken her finger.

According to the complaint, Holmberg told authorities he was upset that his wife “was upgraded to first class because he wanted his wife to travel with him and sit next to him. Although he was upset, he stated that he was not a violent person and did not intend to hurt his wife.”

He told authorities that he had “hit his wife on the head as he walked by to get her attention,” and added that he and his wife had attended couples therapy sessions and that his wife was “often disrespectful to him and had anger issues.”

He told authorities about a previous incident in which she allegedly grabbed his leg while he was driving and broke his finger.

The complaint states that once the crew became aware of the incident, they notified law enforcement. Holmberg was arrested upon landing for simple assault and transported to the Anchorage Correctional Facility. He has since been released and is not allowed to come within 100 yards of his wife, according to court documents.

In a statement to ABC News, an Alaska Airlines spokesperson said: “Mr. Holmberg was banned from our flights and a simple assault charge was filed against him by the U.S. government (FBI) on July 3.”

Holmberg did not respond to a request for comment.