Vyvianna Quinonez, the woman who made headlines around the world last year for brutally assaulting a Southwest Airlines flight attendant is now facing an extended prison sentence after she violated her plea deal by being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The woman blames a recent gastric bypass surgery.
Vyvianna Quinonez, Woman Who Assaulted Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Faces Longer Prison Term After New DUI Arrest
28-year-old Quinonez shocked the world after video showed her punching a Southwest Airlines flight attendant with a closed first on a flight to San Diego over a mask dispute (the flight attendant had told Quinonez to return her seat to the upright position, stow her tray table, and put on her mask prior to landing). Three of the flight attendant’s teeth were damaged, two of them requiring crowns. She also needed stitches for a deep cut and suffered bruising.
With video evidence clearly implicating Quinonez, she “admitted that she stood up and assaulted the flight attendant by punching her in the face and head with a closed fist and grabbing her hair,” pleading guilty to assault.
That was on January 7, 2022. But on January 16, 2022, she was pulled over by California Highway Patrol after being observed driving erratically. She admitted to the officer that she had consumed a couple drinks, blaming her disorientation on a fight with her boyfriend and a recent gastric bypass surgery which left her more prone to getting drunk.
Prosecutors were not amused, telling the Sacramento Bee:
“However, Defendant told pretrial services that her doctor informed her that ‘if she drinks alcohol, her blood alcohol concentration may rise abnormally due to the small size of her stomach.’
“Given this warning by her doctor, Defendant should have been especially careful about the possibility of driving while intoxicated.”
An arrest warrant was issued and on February 15th she was served the warrant and placed under the custody of U.S. Marshals.
Her sentencing hearing has now been re-scheduled to May 27, 2022. She remains locked up.
Quinonez faces a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison. Having violated the conditions of her parole just a week after her plea agreement, she potentially faces a harsher sentence, even if only the assault charge remains, due to a judge’s discretion in setting the penalty.
A part of you must feel sorry for a woman who may have ruined her life through a series of poor decisions. But her failure to abide by plea conditions and the absolutely brutal assault on a flight attendant merits, in my view, an extremely harsh punishment (within the statutory limit) that hopefully will serve as a chilling reminder to others not to assault flight attendants.
> Read More On This Incident:
- Southwest Flight Attendant Assaulted, Loses Two Teeth
- How A Passenger Defended Knocking Two Teeth Off Southwest Flight Attendant
- Justice? Woman Who Punched Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Faces Only Four Months In Jail
photos taken by Taro Arai, a passenger on the flight