Passenger caught on video punching flight attendant during Mexico-to-L.A. flight


A passenger who allegedly punched a flight attendant in the back of the head during an American Airlines flight from Mexico to Los Angeles was taken into custody after the plane landed Wednesday, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The carrier said in a statement that the incident happened on Flight 377 from San José del Cabo to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The FBI, which is handling the investigation since the alleged assault happened in-flight, said the man was detained on suspicion of interfering with a flight crew, a federal offense.

Video taken by a passenger shows the flight attendant standing in the aisle, facing the back of the plane, asking a passenger, “Are you threatening me. Are you threatening me?” He then turns around and starts heading for the front of the plane.

At that point, a passenger is seen rushing up to him and punching him, hard, before returning to his seat.

A producer for CBS San Diego affiliate KFMB-TV, Malik Earnest, tweeted the portion of the video in which the punch occurs. The tweet says the video was captured by Donald Hoover:

Earnest cited “witnesses” who said fellow passengers “helped restrain” the suspect until the flight landed. He was led off the plane by Los Angeles Airport Police, Earnest said.

His identity wasn’t immediately released.

American Airlines issued a statement saying the passenger “physically assaulted a flight attendant” and “will never be allowed to travel with us in the future.”



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