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Southwest Flight Attendant's Teeth Knocked Out, Nose Broken By Unruly Passenger
As travel begins to increase, and people set out to fly again, flight attendants everywhere are bracing for what is to come. Unfortunately on May 24, a Southwest flight attendant was assaulted on a flight heading to San Diego. The attendant, whose name has not been released, suffered a broken nose and lost two teeth as a result.
According to CBS 8, 28-year-old Vyvianna Quinonez allegedly attacked the Southwest flight attendant after repeatedly ignoring standard verbal in-flight instructions.
“The passenger repeatedly ignored standard in-flight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing,” Southwest Airlines spokesperson Chris Mainz said in a statement. “Law enforcement officials were requested to meet the flight upon arrival, and the passenger was taken into custody. We do not condone or tolerate verbal or physical abuse of our flight crews, who are responsible for the safety of our passengers.”
Another passenger snapped photos of the assaulted attendant, and she appeared bloody and visibly distraught. She was taken to a hospital upon landing, and the airline flew a close friend out to be by her side.
The plane was met by law enforcement on the ground, and Quinonez was taken into custody.
A passenger, Susan Marie Stidham, filmed a portion of the incident and was able to provide further detail on what happened on the flight.
“The woman apparently became enraged when the flight attendant told her to keep her seatbelt fastened while the plane was still moving, Stidham said to Dallas Morning News. “What I saw was the flight attendant in the front suddenly start screaming ‘No, No, No! Stop!’, and running toward the back. The woman in the back was attacking the flight attendant, punching her in the head.”
This is only one of hundreds of reported incidents that have happened in the skies in the last few months. The FAA even warned against an increase in unruly passengers as travel resumed.
“Unfortunately, this is just one of many occurrences,” flight attendant’s union president Lyn Montgomery said in an interview. “There have been 477 incidents of misconduct by passengers on Southwest planes between April 8 and May 15.”
Vyvianna Quinonez was arrested on suspicion of felony battery causing serious bodily injury and was booked into Las Colinas women’s jail in Santee, police said. County records did not show Quinonez in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.