A flight out of New York was forced to land after a passenger allegedly assaulted an on-board attendant.
The American Airlines plane came out of John F. Kennedy International Airport last night, October 27, headed for Orange County in California. However, halfway through its journey, the trip was cut short and the flight diverted to Denver International after an alleged attack.
There’s been conflicting reports over what started the altercation; one passenger believed it was mask-related, while the airline said this wasn’t the case.
Mackenzie Rose, a passenger on the flight, said the passenger responsible for the alleged attack was in first or business class. ‘I saw [the flight attendant] walk by and she had blood on the outside of her mask, which, bless her, she was still wearing,’ she told CBSLA.
‘I understand that he actually punched her twice. I did see her walk back down the aisle afterwards. She had blood splattered on the outside of her mask,’ Rose also claimed.
‘If you’re not prepared to wear a mask, you’re not prepared to fly is kind of the moral of the story. That was why she was angered, was because… there was an impression that there might be a substance or alcohol involved. In terms of men hitting women, it’s absolutely absurd and ridiculous.’
The passenger was removed from the plane shortly after it landed in Denver, the airline said, and the flight attendant was taken to hospital for her injuries. Her current condition is unknown.
American Airlines also issued a statement on the incident, thanking the crew ‘for their quick action and professionalism to ensure the safety of their fellow team members and customers on board. Our thoughts are with our injured flight attendant and ensuring that she and her fellow crew members have the support they need at this time’.
‘We are outraged by the reports of what took place on board. Acts of violence against our team members are not tolerated by American Airlines. We have engaged local law enforcement and the FBI and we are working with them to ensure they have all the information they need,’ it continued.
‘The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This behaviour must stop and aggressive enforcement and prosecution of the law is the best deterrent.’
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