An American Airlines passenger was detained by the FBI on Wednesday after allegedly assaulting an attendant on a flight from San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, to Los Angeles, officials said.
Law enforcement officers were waiting for American Airlines Flight 377 when it landed in LA “due to an unruly passenger who physically assaulted a flight attendant,” the airline said in a statement.
The plane landed safely and taxied to the gate, where the police removed the passenger.
A video shared on social media shows a flight attendant walking away from a passenger after he appears to have said, “Yeah, that’s a no.” The passenger then runs after the attendant and appears to punch them in the back of the head, causing other passengers to scream, with one yelling, “Oh my God!” It was not immediately clear what led to the incident.
The FBI confirmed that a person had been detained on a flight from Mexico to Los Angeles on suspicion of flight crew meddling, a federal crime.
American Airlines said it would work closely with police in an investigation into the incident.
The airline also said the passenger “should never travel with us in the future”.
“Violence against our team members will not be tolerated by American Airlines,” the statement said.
The airline thanked crew members for springing into action following the incident, saying: “Our thoughts are with our injured flight attendant and we are making sure they and their fellow crew members receive the support they need at this time.”
US airlines reported a dramatic increase in disruptive or violent incidents in 2021, with the Federal Aviation Administration Log 5,981 “unruly passenger reports”. Most appeared to include federal requirements for wearing face masks due to the pandemic, according to the FAA.