Shocking Video Shows Passenger Hitting Flight Attendant Over Head Over Coffee Delay

Shocking Video Shows Passenger Hitting Flight Attendant Over Head Over Coffee Delay

An unruly passenger was filmed punching a flight attendant in the back of the head on a flight from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to Los Angeles, California.

The footage, filmed by another passenger on Wednesday, shows a man in an orange shirt, identified by police as Alexander Tung Cuu Le, running towards the attendant and assaulting him before backing away.

Le, a 33-year-old man from Westminster, California, has since been charged with interfering with flight crew members.

Authorities said the altercation began when Mr. Le approached a flight attendant during beverage service, grabbed her shoulder and asked for coffee.

“After the flight attendant stepped back and took a defensive stance, Le walked to the front of the plane,” the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.

“He then allegedly lounged near the first class cabin and then sat in an unoccupied aisle near the wall dividing the first class cabin and the main cabin of the aircraft.”

When another flight attendant told Le to return to her seat, she took a “fighting stance” with her fists clenched, authorities said.

He then hit the crew member on his way to alert the captain.

Barrie Livingstone, who filmed the footage, told KTLA that Mr. Le was upset when he was told he couldn’t use the bathroom at the front of the plane because he wasn’t seated in first class.

“Once he started yelling at her, the flight attendant just turned around and I think he was going to go and do something,” Livingstone said of the altercation on American Airlines Flight 377. “But when she turned around and walked away, the guy jumped out of his seat, shot out the window. [aisle], and punched him in the back. It was totally unprovoked.”

Another witness told ABC 7 Chicago that Mr. had whispered to him “there are 10 killers on the plane” before the assault.

Four other passengers helped restrain the man, using bridles on his hands and feet.

“It seemed like you were so helpless and then every 10 minutes he would have some sort of Tourette syndrome and he would just lash out and start yelling and screaming about being the messiah and feeling misunderstood,” Livingstone told KTLA.

The passenger was arrested by FBI agents and airport police upon landing.

“American Airlines does not tolerate acts of violence against our team members,” the airline said. “The person involved in this incident will never be able to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with law enforcement in their investigation.”

“We thank our crew for their swift action and professionalism in ensuring the safety of their teammates and customers on board,” added American Airlines.

“If there hadn’t been anyone who could have gotten up, it could have been a lot worse,” Livingstone told KTLA.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there have been 1,973 reports of unruly passengers in 2022 as of September 20. Investigations have been launched in 680 of those cases. The FAA site states that 468 cases of enforcement actions have been initiated.

There was a sharp increase in the number of incidents that led to investigations between 2020 and 2021. In 2020, 183 investigations were initiated, according to the FAA, compared to 1,099 investigations the following year.

There were 5,981 reports of unruly passengers last year, 70 percent of which were reported to be related to rules governing the wearing of face masks, CNBC noted in April.

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