Another day, another horrific story of a passenger attacking a flight attendant. This time, the incident occurred to Southwest Airlines flight attendant at Denver…onboard an airport train.
Man Chokes, Punches Southwest Flight Attendant On Denver Airport Train
The alleged attack occurred not onboard an airplane, but on the intra-terminal train connecting terminals at Denver International Airport (DEN). The flight attendant was onboard the train with Jeffrey Hiers, 29, at approximately 1:00am last Thursday. Hiers is accused of punching the flight attendant in the jaw, then choking her.
Witnesses onboard said the attack happened suddenly, with no prior discussion between the flight attendant and Hiers. Fellow passengers on the train pulled Hiers off the flight attendant and held him until police arrived.
Hiers was arrested and faces two misdemeanor assault charges. He was released on $1,500 bail.
Even though the attack did not occur onboard, it is sure to increase calls among airlines and flight attention unions to increase penalties for poor behavior onboard and lend credence to the argument that passengers are deliberately targeting flight attendants to take out their anger.
While it isn’t clear if the young man was intoxicated or mentally unstable, the fact that he chose the flight attendant instead of one of the other passengers onboard the train suggests specific intent.
I’m increasingly convinced the only way to stop passenger misbehavior at airports and onboard is through harsher fines and even jail time. While relaxing the mask mandate will help things, it is not clear whether this recent attack is linked to masks.
What a sad state of affairs when a flight attendant must be vigilant onboard a train for fear of attack by a crazed passenger.
(H/T: Paddle Your Own Kanoo // mug shot: Denver Police Department)