Southwest Airlines Passenger Who Punched Employee in the Head Before Flight Faces Assault Charges
A passenger boarding a flight at Dallas Love Field is facing assault charges after she punched a Southwest Airlines employee on Saturday afternoon, police said.
According to The Dallas Morning News, officials noted that the airline's passenger verbally and physically assaulted the unidentified female employee. She was taken to a hospital after being punched in the head but was later released.
Passenger Punches Southwest Airlines Employee
According to the Dallas Police Department, Southwest Airlines passenger Arielle Jean Jackson went to the back of the plane during boarding and had a "verbal altercation" with an employee who then requested her to leave the plane.
Police noted that while exiting the plane, the 32-year-old woman got into another verbal dispute with a second employee. She then allegedly punched the employee in the head with a closed fist.
Authorities said Jackson was arrested at the airport after the incident. She's now facing one charge of aggravated assault and was being held in Dallas County jail on a $10,000 bond as of Sunday afternoon. It was still not clear if she had an attorney.
Southwest Airlines on the Passenger-Employee's Altercation
In a statement, Southwest Airlines spokesman Chris Mainz said the entire Southwest Family wished the employee a speedy and full recovery as they sent their "thoughts, prayers, and love" to the employee.
The investigation of the incident is still ongoing. It's still not clear to the authorities what led to the argument.
According to Mainz, Southwest Airlines maintained a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of harassment or assault and fully supported its employee as they cooperated with local authorities regarding what they considered as an "unacceptable incident."
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already reported more than 5,000 incidents of unruly passengers across all airlines this year. The FAA said about 3,700 of which were related to the wearing of face masks.
The FAA has launched 973 investigations into these incidents. Most of those reports also involved physical assault.
Richard Johnsen, a representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, noted that the rising violence at airports showed that authorities must increase penalties for unruly passengers who assault airline workers.
Last week, the FAA announced that more than $225,000 in civil penalties were imposed against 10 airline passengers for their alleged unruly behavior. This month, the agency referred more than three dozen passengers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for possible criminal charges.
In a statement released last week, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said that passengers with a history of assaulting airline employees or other passengers should be banned from flying on all airlines.
Nelson emphasized that a passenger who physically assaulted crewmembers or other passengers on an airline posed a risk to passengers and crew at every airline.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Jess Smith
WATCH: Southwest Airlines Employee Taken to Hospital After Being Assaulted by Passenger at Dallas Love Field - From WFAA
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