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American Airlines passenger facing up to 20 years in jail for attacking flight attendant

Shocking footage shows the moment an American Airlines passenger assaulted an unsuspecting flight attendant – sneaking up behind him and punching the staffer aboard a flight from Mexico to Los Angeles.

The incident occurred Wednesday on Flight 377 from San Jose del Cabo to LAX and saw the passenger removed from the plane after it landed.

Upon arrival at the airport, the suspect – who has not been named – was arrested on suspicion of involvement with a flight crew.

If found guilty of the misdemeanor, a federal offense, the man — who allegedly threatened the male servant before the filmed attack — could face up to 20 years in prison.

The incident reportedly started after the suspect began to mutter nonsensical to himself about “killers” aboard the California plane, reportedly whispering, “there are 10 killers on the plane.”

At the time, a female flight attendant reportedly went back to address the man, while the male flight attendant who was attacked was there to assist, passengers said.

Video taken by passenger Barrie Livingstone shows the immediate aftermath of the encounter, with the male flight attendant standing in the aisle in front of the man, who is out of sight and out of his seat.

Shocking footage shows the moment an American Airlines passenger assaulted an unsuspecting flight attendant - sneaking after him and obliviously to the staffer aboard a flight from Mexico to Los Angeles

Shocking footage shows the moment an American Airlines passenger assaulted an unsuspecting flight attendant – sneaking after him and obliviously to the staffer aboard a flight from Mexico to Los Angeles

The two seem to exchange words in an apparently tense encounter. Twice the male servant asks the disgruntled traveler, “Are you threatening me?”

Off-screen, the suspect appears to swing at the attendant, causing the staffer to say, “Okay, that’s it,” before turning his back to walk away from the man.

He then turns and heads for the front of the plane – when the man suddenly attacks.

He gasps as the unruly passenger, dressed in an orange Hawaiian shirt, sprints from behind to the unwitting staff.

The suspect then hits him on the head, while the attendant has his back turned to him, with a closed fist.

‘Oh my God!’ a passenger can be heard screaming amid the resulting chaos after the apparently middle-aged suspect delivers the backstabbing punch. ‘What are you doing?’

1663871672 105 American Airlines passenger facing up to 20 years in jail

1663871672 105 American Airlines passenger facing up to 20 years in jail

Amid the ensuing commotion, the attacked worker is seen producing a telephone to supposedly call the authorities, while the man backs off seemingly admiring his handiwork and returns to his seat.

Another crew member rushes to retrieve a pair of safety buoys.

A producer of CBS San Diego affiliate KFMB-TV who was aboard the plane said passengers then “helped” restrain the suspect before staff could tie him to his seat with flexible cuffs. a type of zipper used by airlines. detain passengers.

A separate video on social media shows the plane workers tying him to his seat as awe-inspiring passengers watch.

The suspect was then escorted off the plane by Los Angeles Airport Police as soon as the plane landed, and has since been detained pending an investigation into the incident — which could lead to him being charged with a federal crime.

The suspect - who has not been named - has been arrested on suspicion of involvement with a cockpit crew.  He faces federal charges if he is found responsible for the attack

The suspect - who has not been named - has been arrested on suspicion of involvement with a cockpit crew.  He faces federal charges if he is found responsible for the attack

The suspect – who has not been named – has been arrested on suspicion of involvement with a cockpit crew. He faces federal charges if he is found responsible for the attack

His identity was not immediately released, but an American Airlines spokesman said the man has since been permanently banned from flying the airline and has been taken into police custody.

“Violence against our team members will not be tolerated by American Airlines,” spokesman Derek Walls said in a statement about the incident on Thursday.

“The person involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with us in the future and we will work closely with the police in their investigation.”

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), a union that represents more than 26,000 flight attendants at American Airlines, also publicly responded to the alleged attack.

In a statement released Thursday, the organization labeled the incident “dangerous” and “life-threatening,” adding that it fits in with a pattern of similar attacks on airline personnel, potentially putting flight attendants at risk.

The union added that they will do everything necessary to ensure that the violator will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“This violent behavior endangers the safety of all passengers and crew and must stop,” said Julie Hendrick, the national president of the flight attendant association.

“APFA fully supports the affected crew members and will do everything possible to ensure that the passenger is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to the FAA, airlines have reported more than 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers since Jan. 1, involving many passengers refusing to comply with a federal obligation to wear face masks.

While the FAA agency has not followed up on such reports in previous years, a spokesperson said it was safe to assume this year’s numbers are the highest on record.

Since the FAA announced a “zero tolerance policy” against unruly passengers in January, the FAA has disclosed potential fines — some in excess of $30,000 — against dozens of passengers and has investigated more than 400 cases. According to figures from the FAA, that’s about three times the average number of full-year cases over the past ten years.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said last week that airlines have reported more than 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers since Jan. 1, involving many passengers refusing to comply with a federal obligation to wear face masks.

While the FAA agency has not followed up on such reports in previous years, a spokesperson said it was safe to assume this year’s numbers are the highest on record.

Since the FAA announced a “zero tolerance policy” against unruly passengers in January, the FAA has disclosed potential fines — some in excess of $30,000 — against dozens of passengers and has investigated more than 400 cases. According to figures from the FAA, that’s about three times the average number of full-year cases over the past ten years.

The move was praised by leaders of major flight attendant unions, who lobbied to create the training programs after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The terrorists who hijacked and crashed four planes attacked several flight attendants and passengers before storming the cockpits.

“Since a flight attendant was the first to die, we wanted to make sure we could protect ourselves from physical altercations both on and off the plane,” said Lyn Montgomery, president of the local union representing Southwest Airlines flight attendants. “Right now it’s really necessary, it’s incredibly valuable.”

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, who also advocated making the classes mandatory, nevertheless praised TSA for restarting voluntary classes now because of the increase in flight clashes.

“This should send a message to the public that these events are serious” and that flight attendants are there to “ensure the safety and security of everyone on the plane,” she said.

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