A Southwest Airlines flight attendant was physically assaulted by a passenger during a flight Sunday from Sacramento to San Diego. Footage of the incident was captured by a fellow passenger, and obtained by CBS News. You can watch it up top.
A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines said the passenger “repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing.” Police were called to meet the flight upon arrival to escort the woman off the plane and take her into custody.
The person who recorded the moment when the passenger was taken off the aircraft said the altercation started because the flight attendant told her to keep her seatbelt fastened while the plane was moving.
“While the flight attendant was staggering back with a bloody face, we were all told to stay in our seats while they brought in police to remove the unruly passenger,” she wrote in her Facebook post.
The union representing Southwest Airlines’ flight attendants are citing this latest altercation to address what they’re calling an “epidemic of aggression and assault” towards its members.
“We are asking our carrier, the government and the flying public’s help in ending this epidemic of aggression and assault. Flight attendants are first responders in the sky who are focused on safety. As people return to the skies, we are asking for everyone’s help in complying with flight attendant requests to help ensure a safe and fun atmosphere for all,” TWU Local 556 President Lyn Montgomery said in a statement.
Montgomery said there have been 477 passenger misconduct incidents on Southwest Airlines aircrafts between April 8 and May 15.
The passenger in this instance has been charged with suspicion of felony battery causing serious injury. The flight attendant suffered facial injuries, in addition to the two missing teeth.