A frightening incident in which a young female knocked out a flight attendant’s teeth has occurred on a Southwest flight in what is the latest of a recent wave of spiking violence by airline passengers.
The onboard battery took place earlier this week, on Tuesday, when a female flight attendant on a Southwest flight from Sacramento to San Diego, CA, reminded a young woman to put up her tray table and to fasten her seatbelt.
The female passenger later identified as 28-year-old Vyvianna Quinonez reacted by rapidly throwing several punches in the flight attendant’s face, breaking her nose, and knocking out two of her teeth.
Inconsistent witness statements
The fight was stopped by a male passenger seated nearly who was rather quick to intervene.
The woman who recorded the incident told local media that in the interaction prior to the beating, the flight attendant had actually used rude language and disrespectful manners with respect to passenger Quinonez.
Another passenger, however, told the Daily Mail that the passenger had kept disregarding inflight instructions, and eventually grew abusive both verbally and physically.
More video footage by passengers showed how in the wake of the attack, the 28-year-old suspect was taken off the aircraft by police officers from the Port of San Diego Harbor law enforcement.
The flight attendant could be seen with a bloodied and swollen face, with photos showing her taken away in a wheelchair on her way to receive medical treatment in a local hospital.
San Diego police later charged Quinonez with felony battery and inflicting serious injuries on the victim’s body.
She was let go on a USD 35,000 bail.
Rising violence on flights
Lyn Montgomery, the president of the flight attendant union, stated after the incident that the battery on the Southwest flight from Sacramento to San Diego was only the latest of numerous recent incidents in which passengers had assaulted flight attendants.
Montgomery, who has been in the industry since 1992, declared that the latest incident had been “the worst” that she had ever seen.
She commented further that at present people seemed to have become angrier, and it was harder to get them to comply with aircrew instructions.
The president of the flight attendants’ union also called for the presence of more federal air marshals on board of passenger planes as a means of preventing violence against flight attendance and providing help quickly when violent incidents do occur.
Montgomery also revealed that there had been a whopping total of 477 “misconduct” incidents on part of passengers on Southwest flights in the five-week period between April 8 and May 15, 2021.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, some 2,500 incidents of unruly behavior by passengers have been recorded in the United States so far this year.