A passenger who allegedly punched a flight attendant in the back of the head on an American Airlines flight from Mexico to Los Angeles was taken into custody after the plane landed on Wednesday,.
The carrier said in a statement that the incident occurred on Flight 377 from San Jose del Cabo to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The FBI, which has been handling the investigation since the alleged assault occurred in flight, said Alexander Tung Cuu Le, 33, of Westminster, California, was arrested on suspicion of interfering with a flight crew, a federal offense.
Video taken by passenger Barrie Livingstone shows the flight attendant standing in the aisle, facing the rear of the plane, asking a passenger, “Are you threatening me. Are you threatening me? ” He then turns around and begins to walk towards the front of the plane.
At that moment, a passenger is seen rushing towards him and hitting him, hard, before returning to his seat.
A producer for CBS San Diego affiliate KFMB-TV, Malik Earnest, who was on board, cited ‘witnesses’ who said other passengers ‘helped hold down’ the suspect until the plane landed. flight. He was led off the plane by Los Angeles Airport Police.
American Airlines released a statement saying the passenger “physically assaulted a flight attendant” and “will never be permitted to travel with us in the future.”
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, a union that represents more than 24,000 flight attendants at American Airlines, also publicly responded to the alleged assault in a statement released Thursday. The organization called the incident “dangerous”, “threatening to life” and one of a series of similar situations that put flight attendants at risk.
“This violent behavior endangers the safety of all passengers and crew and must stop,” said Julie Hendrick, National President of the AFPA. “The APFA fully supports the crew members involved and will do everything possible to ensure that the passenger is prosecuted to the fullest extent permitted by law.”