‘How the Hell Did You Get the Upgrade?’: Evangelical Pastor Allegedly Attacks Wife on Plane Because She Got First Class Seat on Flight While He Was Stuck In Coach

A 75-year-old pastor from Virginia faces federal charges after being accused of hitting his wife on an Alaskan Airlines flight all because she was upgraded to a first-class seat and he wasn’t.

Robert Allan Holmberg Sr. was charged with simple assault after he allegedly attacked his 59-year-old wife on July 2 on their Alaska-bound flight, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The Independent.

A person sitting next to Holmberg’s wife in first class said Holmberg first confronted her after they were in the air for almost four hours.

Evangelical Pastor Allegedly Hits Wife In the Head Because She Got First Class Seat on Alaska-Bound Flight While He Was Stuck In Coach
Robert Allan Holmberg Sr. (Photo: Facebook/Roger Allan Holmberg Fan Club)

He marched up to her from his seat in coach and asked, “How the hell did you get the upgrade?” the complaint states.

“I’m [a] gold point member,” his wife replied. “Don’t speak to me like that.”

Shortly after, he approached her seat again, handed her his phone, and “then gave [her] the finger.”

When Holmberg returned a third time, he tried to hit her, according to the complaint. He reportedly “pushed in front of” his wife’s seatmate “and attempted to swing his arm towards [the] victim.”

The seatmate tried to block the strike, but “[Holmberg] still appeared to strike the top of the victim’s head with his hand.”

An off-duty officer sitting nearby heard Holmberg’s wife verbally defend herself, telling Holmberg, “You cannot be doing that,” and the cop warned Holmberg that he would “put him in handcuffs” if he caused further disruptions.

Holmberg was taken into custody at the Anchorage airport after the plane landed.

Holmberg’s wife told police that her husband struck her knowing she had epilepsy and that any rough, physical contact with her head could cause a seizure. She also said that her husband had a “history of abusing her,” citing one previous altercation that left her with a broken finger.

But Holmberg turned those accusations on his wife and alleged in a police interview that she is the aggressor in their marriage. He told police that he grabbed his leg while he was driving one time and broke her finger. He also talked of another incident when she allegedly “grabbed his genitals…with such force that [he] was in pain.”

He admitted that he was upset that she was upgraded to first class because he wanted to sit beside her and told investigators that he simply “tapped” her on the head to get her attention.

The complaint states that Holmberg and his wife were traveling to Alaska for a meeting “related to their ministry.” They have known each other for about 20 years but have only been married for one and a half years.

Holmberg has been banned from Alaskan Airlines flights. The maximum penalty for his assault charge is one year in prison if he’s convicted.

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