An American Airlines flight had to be diverted after a passenger allegedly assaulted a flight attendant.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement American Airlines Flight 976, was flying from New York to Orange County, Calif., when it had to divert to Denver on Wednesday due to the alleged assault.
Mackenzie Rose, a passenger on the flight, told CBS Los Angeles that the alleged assault happened while the flight was over Ohio.
Rose said the man who allegedly assaulted the flight attendant, who has not been named yet, was in business class.
Rose said she believes the man punched the woman flight attendant twice as she had blood on her after the encounter.
“I saw her walk by and she had blood on the outside of her mask which, bless her, she was still wearing,” she said.
Rose says the altercation happened because the man didn’t want to wear a mask, but the airline said it has no evidence the encounter started because of mask compliance.
“I did see her walk back down the aisle afterward. She had blood splattered on the outside of her mask. If you’re not prepared to wear a mask, you’re not prepared to fly is kind of the moral of the story. That was why she was angered, was because … there was an impression that there might be a substance or alcohol involved. In terms of men hitting women, it’s absolutely absurd and ridiculous,” Rose said.
The man was arrested when the plane landed in Denver and the woman was taken to a local hospital. American Airlines could not say her condition due to privacy reasons.
“We are outraged by the reports of what took place on board. Acts of violence against our team members will not be tolerated by American Airlines. We have engaged local law enforcement and the FBI and we are working with them to ensure they have all the information they need. The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This behavior must stop, and aggressive enforcement and prosecution of the law is the best deterrent,” American Airlines said in a statement.
The FAA and FBI are involved in the investigation into the incident.Internet Explorer Channel Network