What’s the deal with all the aggression being seen at airports today, especially on flights?
The latest report of violence occurred over the weekend in San Diego, when a flight attendant aboard a Southwest Airlines flight had two teeth knocked out by an angry female passenger who allegedly punched her in the face.
The incident took place Sunday morning on a flight from Sacramento that had just landed in San Diego, according to the airline.
A passenger on the flight who witnessed the assault spoke with Fox40 Sacramento.
“In the beginning, they were not arguing. They were just like ‘do this, don’t do that, don’t do this, don’t do that.’ Then even the flight attendant said, ‘Don’t touch me,’” Kotaro Arai recalled.
Arai took several photographs, including one capturing the female passenger and the flight attendant bleeding from her face. He shared them on social media. In another photo, the flight attendant is seen in a wheelchair.
Sacto-San Diego-Dallas-Miami ✈️ Can we go any further in the US? Just witnessed a woman punch a flight attendant. 😳 5 hr delay so far…but I don’t worry about what I can’t control & just enjoy the precious time w/Koki, our future hope! #PeacefulMind pic.twitter.com/NhmQAwSiPx
— Taro Arai (@MikuniTaro) May 23, 2021
“I would be on the floor like that if I get hit like that,” Arai told FOX40. “She went all force, too.”
Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said the woman “repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing.”
She reportedly ignored the flight crew’s reminders about wearing a seatbelt and putting her tray table away and became verbally and physically combative upon landing.
Lyn Montgomery, the president of TWU Local 556, referenced the assault in a letter to CEO Gary Kelly, saying from April 8 to May 15, “there were 477 passenger misconduct incidents on Southwest Airlines aircraft.”
“This unprecedented number of incidents has reached an intolerable level, with passenger non-compliance events also becoming more aggressive in nature,” wrote Montgomery. “This past weekend, one of our Flight Attendants was seriously assaulted, resulting in injuries to the face and a loss of two teeth. Unfortunately, this is just one of many occurrences. I write to you today because we cannot tolerate our beloved Cohearts being abused in such a manner, and because I am asking for your help and leadership in ending these travesties.”
The union is asking Southwest to “demand” that the U.S. government increase the number of Federal Air Marshals on board aircraft “to ensure safe travel for all.”
Port of San Diego Harbor police arrested Vyvianna Quinonez, 28, and charged her with battery causing serious bodily injury.
Passenger Susan Marie Stidham shared a video on Facebook, where a police officer can be seen leading a passenger off of the flight.
“What I saw was the flight attendant in the front suddenly start screaming ‘No, No, No! Stop!’, and running toward the back,” Stidham wrote on Facebook. “The woman in the back was attacking the flight attendant, punching her in the head.”
She spoke of the injuries the flight crew member sustained while speaking with the Fox affiliate.
“There were three officers who came on the plane and one of them was still back there with the flight attendant,” Stidham told FOX40. “I talked to a flight attendant on my flight back the next day and she told me that yes, the flight attendant had broken teeth, a broken nose, facial injuries.”
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