Vyvianna Quinonez brutally attacked a Southwest Airlines flight attendant in May in a story that made headlines around the world. Not only did she punch a flight in the attendant in the face and grab her by the hair, but broke three teeth, injured her eye, and bruised her arm. But Quinonez, now arraigned in federal court, claims she was only acting in self-defense. And she has an onboard witness who backs her up who is not a member of the family…
Passenger Claims Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Was Initial Aggressor In Assault That Resulted In Lost Teeth
Initial reports suggested the that after Southwest Airlines flight 700 from Sacramento (SMF) to San Diego (SAN) landed, Quinonez removed her seatbelt and stood up. A flight attendant told her remain seated and put her mask on and refuse, but she refused. When the flight attendant told her to sit down again, she attacked the flight attendant.
Quinonez claims she was acting in self-defense against an overly-aggressive flight attendant, who physically grabbed her before she even laid a hand on her.
Michelle Manner, another passenger on the flight, backs up that account. She has testified that the Qunonez yelled, “Get off me. Quit touching me. Get your hands off of me,” several times before touching the flight attendant. Manner added that the flight attendant was screaming at Quinonez, which triggered the situation by unnecessarily raising tensions.
As Quinonez faces criminal charges which may land her not just a hefty fine, but jail time, the new claims are an interesting twist. Perhaps they are nothing but a pathetic last-ditch attempt to fight jail time, but if true, do provide better context of what happened.
Even if verbally provoked, there is no defense for a close-fist punching of a flight attendant that knocks her teeth out. Even if the flight attendant did try to push Quinonez back into her seat, striking her repeatedly is not a proportional response or valid self-defense.
But I will say this: if I was judge or jury and it was proven that the flight attendant was screaming and pushing the passenger first, Quinonez would not be receiving as harsh a sentence.
As the passenger who assaulted a Southwest Airlines flight attendant now faces criminal charges for her conduct, she is claiming–and has a witness to back her up–that the flight attendant essentially assaulted her first. It’s an interesting new twist, though I’m not sure it is anything more than an eleventh hour attempt to avoid the slammer.
> Read More: Southwest Flight Attendant Assaulted, Loses Two Teeth
> Read More: Video: Southwest Flight Attendant Brutally Attacked By Passenger
More than one side to most stories thanks for reporting
IF TRUE, perhaps they should be thrown into the same cell for 6 months as they both seem guilty
This report offers more context: https://fox40.com/news/california-connection/witness-says-southwest-airlines-flight-attendant-provoked-violent-incident/
We don’t know all the facts, but I’ll trust the account of a disinterested 3d party over either SWA or the defendant’s account. And the 3d party account lines up much more closely with the defendant’s.
Flight attendants are the authority in the cabin. If they tell you to obey the rules, then obey the rules. If you feel they are being abusive, then report them, don’t assault them.
Don’t ever assault ANYONE, ANYWHERE, unless you want to go to jail.
1. Why are we only hearing about this witness now?
2. Why is there only ONE witness backing up this defendants story? Why aren’t the other 150 or so people on the plane backing her up?
Considering these two points, I don’t believe this new witness.
You said it. This is a pathetic and obvious attempt to muddy the waters. If the flight attendant really had attacked a poor innocent passenger, witnesses would be lined up out the door to testify. If that’s the best the defense has to offer, they’d better start trying for a plea bargain now.
This isn’t the first time, there was a witness interviewed on the local San Diego news when this happened and shared the same story, not sure if it is the same person as in the lawsuit. I am pretty sure I even shared a link to Matthew’s original story with the 3rd party side of the story.
not sure if the link will work, but this has the witness saying the same thing (story from May 26). https://www.cbs8.com/article/news/crime/fight-southwest-plane-san-diego-flight-attendant-punch-lost-teeth-arrest-mask-dispute/509-21050218-6f19-4428-b1c0-e70ea42fe515
The mask incident wasn’t even with the person that is being charged, it was with the passenger in the aisle, based on what the witness is saying…
Note the date of the report, May 25th. This witness isn’t new. Here’s another’s account from the same source: https://fox40.com/news/local-news/local-travelers-share-moments-before-flight-attendant-was-punched-on-southwest-flight/
This isn’t an open and shut case as has been portraited.
It’s open and shut as far as I’m concerned. You can defend yourself if you are in danger. She was in no danger at all. And I don’t believe for a minute that a flight attendant assault her. I’ve flown over a million miles and I’ve never seen any flight attendant even touch a passenger.
And bull crap on her witness, Some people just want to get involved in a high profile case. She’s facing felony charges that could put her in prison. It’s no surprise that there will be “witnesses” that think that’s too harsh.
A flight attendant who ‘touched an unruly belligerent and hurt her ‘fee fees’ got punched out by said unruly passenger. Yes, a totally out of proportion response to any ‘aggression on F.A.’s end. These airline workers are totally burnt out by obnoxious self-entitled passengers who now seem to make up a growing number of Americans flying.
As an attorney with a long history of defending people charged with federal crimes, allow me to provide a bit of insight here To put it concisely: Quinonez is screwed. For one thing, it would never have made it to federal court if federal prosecutors had not found lots of cold, hard, substantiated evidence against Quinonez. Federal charges carry penalties that are far usually far more severe than those levied by state courts. And, she is charged in state court as well.
Federal prosecutors are no slouches. Like the Canadian mounties up north, they usually always get ‘their man.’ They begin their careers in the state system and after years of experience the best of them are selected to serve the government, after rising through the ranks. This is why federal prosecutors are widely regarded as some of the toughest in the nation and have a reputation for prosecuting cases with extreme tenacity. Oh, here’s one more little thing: More than 90% of individuals who are prosecuted in federal court are convicted!
I am derek, not Derek.
Perhaps the FA had it coming but such savage flight was completely unnecessary. America is supposed to be a free country and a democracy but common sense is that we do salute and snap to attention when a FA, even if unreasonable, makes a demand. I confess that I have defied a FA who insisted that my bag has to be checked but I was able to slip it in a bin very quickly and easily. I did try to convince them by giving a big smile and saying “I can expedite push back time by this fancy maneuver….watch”
No. Just no. I’m sorry I’m not going to just “snap to attention” because some HS dropout makes a command.
The majority of FAs are lazy at best and incompetent at worse who view passengers as the barrier to being able to sit in the jump seat playing sudoku or watching ticktok.
You want some luv, then give it.
Likely, this FA didn’t deserve her punishment but I can guarantee she’ll think twice before acting like that again.
Many can argue I harbor my pessimistic attitude because I fly AA and I wouldn’t disagree with that but the only decent FAs I see anymore are on delta or international carriers.
“ because some HS dropout makes a command.
The majority of FAs are lazy at best and incompetent at worse ”
—Wow. Someone who obviously does not know many Flight Attendants. My colleague has his degree in economics from Harvard and I have my Masters, working on my doctorate. It’s funny you call us “HS dropouts” Many airlines prefer candidates that have a college degree, and you can’t even work for most without a HS degree (or equivalent).
Since she has been sentenced now, it appears that you are the uneducated one!
Your whole comment was just ignorance. Speaking of a lack of education…
Hope she (Quinones) gets the book thrown at her. I’m sick of these hot-headed, classless people with no manners or self control disrupting a planeload of people, attacking flight attendants and walking off with no reprimand or a slap on the wrist….. till it happens again and again. Though I feel that some FA’s act like jack-booted SWAT teams, airlines and authorities need to follow through with arrest AND punishment.
Your honor, I held up my fist to keep the flight attendant away but she viciously headbutted my fist, knocking out her own teeth. Her head assaulted my fist!
Seems like a lot of bending over backwards to make excuses for someone who clearly lacks common sense (no mask, stands up as soon as plane touches down?).
FA has the authority to issue a command and doesn’t have to be nice about it.
Pax punched FA in the face.
Seems pretty cut and dry to me.
Self defense is a human right no matter if it is against a police officer or flight attendant. If your body is being physically attacked, you have a right to defend yourself. Certainly, who initiated the physical conflict is important in deciding who is the culprit and who is defending him or herself.
Given the demographics, I say it is more likely than not this woman acted inappropriately and criminally. However, testimony exists that the flight attendant was an aggressor. Once the flight attendant put her hands on this woman (with the intent to subdue or force), a physical response by the woman was appropriate. Was the physical response too much, maybe. That needs to be determined, although, everyone should have zero confidence in the court system/rubber stamp juries to adjudicate anything fairly and justly.
A major problem that exists with policing is restraining policies. I think it is not appropriate for cops to put their hands on anyone except to stop a witnessed attack or for someone who was witnessed committing a violent crime. We have cops restraining people for traffic ticket warrants and for driving with a suspend license. We have people cuffed for walking a dog without a leash. Eric Garner was battered and killed by cops trying to restrain him for selling cigarettes. Many of the situations with cops arresting people should be avoided in the first place if cops stopped enforcing liberal laws that criminalize personal freedom (drug laws) and would not escalate in these video situations if cops didn’t touch people and don’t restrain people unnecessarily. A persons hands being restrained is dangerous for that person. I don’t blame people for fighting back. It is a natural response.
Still comes back to friends don’t let friends fly Southwest. Honestly, how many people visit this site who fly SW?
We love to bash SW, Spirit, Frontier, Allegiant and their kind for the trash that flys them.
At some point you need to cater to your audience and sprinkle in some comedy.
Typical. When an authority figure tells you to comply, YOU COMPLY. If you do not comply and resist, that is now YOUR problem. Hitting the FA or a policeman when they are forcing you to comply is criminal. Part of the FAs job IS to make sure that the passengers comply. So send the criminal to jail and have the criminal compensate the FA for the physical and mental damage caused.
And that is exactly how the sentencing played out today!
This defense story doesn’t smell right. I can’t imagine a FA putting their hands on a seated passenger. Being snotty, snarky and perhaps unreasonable: yes. But physical assault: no. Also, this particular FA didn’t strike me (no pun intended) as being the type to initiate a physical altercation.
I am suspicious of this allegedly neutral witness and don’t think he or she is truly unbiased, because the story makes no sense.
The witness refers to the woman by her first name. Sounds like her only witness is a friend…..hmmmm
She referred to her by first name in another article. Just to be clear.
Typical “large and in charge” female bully, used to getting her way by being obnoxious, with physical force . . . well, welcome to the real world darlin’. Bottom of the barrel lowlife trailer park trash, she definitely needs to be in jail, for the absolute maximum allowed by law. There she can try her usual bullying BS . . . only she might get surprised, maybe missing some of her teeth.
Obviously Quinonez doesn’t like obeying the law as she got a DUI a week after the airline incident. She probably got the 15 months in prison because she violated her plea deal. I hope her 15 months in prison, fines, restitution and anger management classes makes her think twice about assaulting anyone again. Don’t drop the soap!