An American Airlines flight attendant was struck on the back of the head by an irate passenger in a dispute over seating on a flight to Los Angeles. The suspect has now been charged and if convicted, faces up to 20 years behind bars.
American Airlines Flight Attendant Violently Struck On Head – Passenger IDed and Charged
In a jarring video, a man can be seen walking back to economy class onboard an American Airlines Airbus A321, then turning around, running up to a flight attendant, and striking him on the back of the head.
Violence in the air: a friend was travelling from Cabo to LAX, when a passenger hit a flight attendant for not letting use him the first class bathroom. He was later restrained by other passengers and arrested upon touchdown. The video shot was by Barrie Livingstone pic.twitter.com/PntVqWyWs9
— Saad Mohseni (@saadmohseni) September 22, 2022
The passenger has been identified as Alexander Tung Cuu Le, a 33-year-old man who lives in Orange County, California.
The incident occurred on September 21, 2022 on American Airlines flight 377 from San José del Cabo (SJD) to Los Angeles (LAX). Although it was first claimed that the incident occurred when the flight attendant stopped the passenger from using a first class lavatory, a Department of Justice report suggests:
- Le grabbed one flight attendant’s left shoulder from behind and asked for coffee
- Moments later, Le grabbed both of the flight attendant’s shoulders from behind
- After the flight attendant stepped back and put up a defensive posture, Le walked to the front of the airplane
- Le then allegedly loitered 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
- A different flight attendant approached Le and requested that Le return to his assigned seat
- Le did not comply and allegedly stood up and assumed a fighting stance towards the flight attendant by making closed fists with both of his hands
- Around this time, Le allegedly swung his arm at the flight attendant and missed
- The flight attendant decided to report Le’s behavior to the pilot, turned away from Le and walked towards the front of the airplane
- At this time, Le rushed toward the flight attendant and punched him in the back of the head
After the incident, passengers restrained the man while the crew zip-tied to his seat. He was arrested upon landing at LAX.
— Smallzy 🎧 (@Smallzy) September 22, 2022
An American Airlines spokesperson confirmed a lifetime flight ban:
“Acts of violence against our team members are not tolerated by American Airlines. The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with law enforcement in their investigation.
“We thank our crew for their quick action and professionalism to ensure the safety of their fellow team members and customers on board. Our thoughts are with our injured flight attendant, and we are ensuring that they and their fellow crew members have the support they need at this time.”
Le has been charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants, and now faces up to 20 years in prison and a huge fine.
The FBI has also launched an investigation.
The number of violent incidents has dropped since the mask mandate was lifted, but extreme instances of violence, as we witnessed here, are still happening. Le’s actions are deplorable and while it seems he did not resist being ziptied for the remainder of the flight, that will hardly mitigate the consequences of his poor choices onboard.