Surprising footage exhibits the second an American Airways passenger attacked a unsuspecting flight attendant – sneaking up behind him and sucker punching the staffer aboard a flight from Mexico to Los Angeles.
The incident transpired on Flight 377 from San Jose del Cabo to LAX on Wednesday, and noticed the passenger faraway from the aircraft after it touched down stateside.
Upon arriving on the airport, the suspect – 33-year-old Alexander Tung Cuu Lee of Westminster – was detained on suspicion of interfering with a flight crew.
If discovered responsible of the offense, a federal felony, Lee – who allegedly threatened the male attendant earlier than the filmed assault – might face as much as 20 years in jail.
He’s anticipated to make an preliminary courtroom look in downtown Los Angeles Thursday afternoon.
The incident reportedly began after the suspect began nonsensically mumbling to himself about ‘killers’ aboard the California-bound aircraft, reportedly whispering, ‘there are 10 killers on the aircraft.’
At that time, a feminine flight attendant reportedly went again to deal with the person, with the the male attendant who was attacked becoming a member of to help, passengers mentioned.
Video taken by passenger Barrie Livingstone exhibits the fast aftermath of the encounter, with the male flight attendant standing within the aisle in entrance of the suspect, who’s out of view and out of his seat.
Surprising footage exhibits the second an American Airways passenger attacked a unsuspecting flight attendant – sneaking up behind him and sucker punching the staffer aboard a flight from Mexico to Los Angeles
The 2 appear to change phrases in an apparently tense encounter. Twice, the male attendant asks the disgruntled traveler, ‘Are you threatening me?’
Off-screen, the suspect seems to lurch towards the attendant, inflicting the staffer to say, ‘All proper, that is it,’ earlier than turning his again to maneuver away from the person.
He then turns round and begins heading for the entrance of the aircraft – when Lee all of the sudden assaults.
Gasps will be heard as the unruly passenger, wearing an orange Hawaiian shirt, sprints towards the unaware staffer from behind within the heart-pounding clip.
The suspect then, whereas the attendant’s again is turned, strikes him at the back of the pinnacle with a closed fist.
‘Oh, my God!’ a passenger will be heard shouting amid the ensuing chaos, after the seemingly middle-aged suspect lands the underhanded blow. ‘What are you doing?’
Video taken by passenger Barrie Livingstone exhibits the fast aftermath of the encounter, with the male flight attendant standing within the aisle in entrance of the person, who’s out of view and out of his seat
The suspect then, whereas the attendant’s again is turned, strikes him at the back of the pinnacle with a closed fist, the footage exhibits
Amid the following commotion, the employee who was attacked will be seen producing a cellphone to presumably name the authorities, as the person, recognized as 33-year-od Wesminster resident Alexander Tung Cuu Lee backs off earlier than returning to his seat
Amid the following commotion, the employee who was attacked will be seen producing a cellphone to presumably name the authorities, as the person backs off whereas seemingly admiring his handiwork, returning to his seat.
One other crew member will be seen dashing to retrieve a pair of restraint cuffs.
Coincidentally, additionally on board the aircraft was a producer for CBS San Diego affiliate KFMB-TV, who mentioned passengers ‘helped restrain’ the suspect as staffers tied him to his seat with flex cuffs, a zip-tie-like machine utilized by airways to detain passengers.
A separate video on social media exhibits the airplane employees participating on this act, as awestruck passengers look on.
The suspect was then led off the aircraft by Los Angeles Airport Police as soon as the aircraft landed, and has since been detained pending an investigation into the incident – which might see him charged with a federal crime.
A spokesman for American Airways mentioned the person has since been completely banned from flying with the provider and was taken into police custody.
One other witness mentioned that the chaos broke out after the feminine flight attendant requested the person to sit down down, earlier than her male colleague went over to assist, resulting in the heated confrontation.
A separate video on social media exhibits airplane employees tying the traveler all the way down to his chair after the outburst, as awestruck passengers look on
‘Acts of violence in opposition to our group members usually are not tolerated by American Airways,’ spokesperson Derek Partitions mentioned in a press release Thursday of the incident.
‘The person concerned on this incident won’t ever be allowed to journey with us sooner or later, and we’ll work carefully with regulation enforcement of their investigation.’
The Affiliation of Skilled Flight Attendants (APFA), a union that represents greater than 26,000 of flight attendants at American Airways, additionally responded publicly to the alleged assault.
Lee was subsequently was detained on suspicion of interfering with a flight crew. He faces federal expenses if deemed liable for the assault, and is about to look in courtroom Thursday
In a press release launched Thursday, the group slammed the incident as ‘harmful’ and ‘life-threatening,’ including that it match a sample of comparable assaults on airline staffers, doubtlessly placing flight attendants in danger.
The union added that they may do all that’s essential to see that the offender will likely be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the regulation.
‘This violent habits places the security of all passengers and crew in jeopardy and should cease,’ mentioned Julie Hendrick, the nationwide president of the flight attendants affiliation.
‘APFA totally helps the affected crew members, and can do all attainable to make sure that the passenger faces prosecution to the fullest extent of the regulation.’
In line with the FAA, airways have reported greater than 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers since January 1, with many involving passengers who refuse to adjust to a federal requirement to put on face masks.
Whereas the FAA company didn’t monitor such studies in prior years, a spokesman mentioned it was secure to imagine this 12 months’s numbers are the best ever.
Since saying a ‘zero-tolerance coverage’ in opposition to unruly passengers in January, the FAA has publicized potential fines – some topping $30,000 – in opposition to dozens of passengers and has investigated greater than 400 circumstances.
That’s about thrice the full-year common variety of circumstances over the previous decade, in line with FAA figures.
The transfer was praised by leaders of main flight attendant unions, who lobbied to create the coaching applications after the phobia assaults of Sept. 11, 2001. The terrorists who hijacked 4 planes the day of the assaults assaulted a number of flight attendants and passengers earlier than storming the cockpits.
‘Since a flight attendant was the primary to perish, we needed to ensure that we might shield ourselves from bodily altercations, on and off the plane,’ mentioned Lyn Montgomery, president of the union native that represents Southwest Airways flight attendants. ‘Proper now it is actually wanted, it is extremely helpful.’
Sara Nelson, president of the Affiliation of Flight Attendants, who additionally advocated making the courses necessary, nonetheless praised TSA for restarting voluntary ones now due to the surge in confrontations on flights.
‘This could ship a message to the general public that these occasions are critical’ and that flight attendants are there to make sure ‘the security and safety of everybody within the aircraft,’ she mentioned.
The variety of unruly passenger incidents, in the meantime, have plummeted since face masks mandates for airplanes had been dropped in April. Nonetheless, there have been practically 680 investigations initiated by the FAA into such assault this 12 months, excess of normal.
The FAA is at present investigating this incident. The suspect continues to be in custody.