A passenger on a flight from Los Cabos, Mexico to Los Angeles was arrested and banned for life after assaulting a flight attendant. The incident took place on American Airlines Flight 377 on Wednesday and was recorded by another passenger. The cellphone video later surfaced on social media and went viral. The plane landed at Los Angeles Airport shortly after 3:30 p.m. (local time) and the passenger was immediately removed by FBI officials. The Washington Post.
Los Angeles airport police arrested a man after he assaulted a flight attendant on an American Airlines flight from Cabo. pic.twitter.com/2VDXxIqUfn
— 🇺🇸BellaLovesUSA🍊 (@Bellamari8mazz) 22 September 2022
The 33-second clip circulating on Twitter and other platforms shows a male flight attendant asking a passenger, “Are you threatening me?” As she turns and walks up the aisle, a passenger wearing an orange floral shirt runs up from behind and punches the flight attendant in the back of the head.
In the clip, other passengers can be heard shouting “Oh my god”. A passenger says, “What are you doing?”
The air traffic controller is then seen coming to the aid of the flight attendant and is knocked down. He quoted the words of an eyewitness New York Post that other passengers restrained the attacker using zip ties until he was removed from the flight.
In a statement, the US Department of Justice identified the attacker as 33-year-old California resident Alexander Tung Cuu Le. He is accused of interfering with the work of flight crew members New York Timesadding that he could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The New York Times said the episode began 20 minutes after Flight 377 left Los Cabos Airport. Citing an affidavit filed by the FBI, the paper said Mr. Le grabbed the flight attendant’s shoulder when she offered food and drinks and asked for coffee. He then walked to the front of the plant and sat in an empty row near the first-class cabin, according to the affidavit. When another flight attendant asked Mr. Le to return to his seat, he closed both fists and assumed a “fighting stance,” the FBI said. The flight attendant then decided to report the behavior to the pilot and turned around, whereupon Mr Le assaulted her.
American Airlines later issued a statement saying, “American Airlines does not tolerate acts of violence against our crew members. The individual involved in the incident will not be allowed to travel with us at any time in the future, and we are cooperating closely with law enforcement in their investigation.”
The statement also thanked the crew members and said the airline would provide them with the necessary support.