Photo Credit: Jeffry Surianto
Southwest Passenger Who Punched Flight Attendant Sentenced To 15 Months Prison Time
Last May, 29-year-old Vyvianna Quinonez of California punched a flight attendant in the face on a Southwest flight from Sacramento to San Diego. Now, she must pay for her actions by serving 15 months in federal prison.
According to HuffPost, this determination was made by the federal judge in San Diego on Tuesday, who also ordered Quinonez to pay almost $26,000 in restitution as well as a $7,500 fine. In addition, Quinonez must attend counseling or anger management classes, and she may not fly for three years while on supervised release.
Quinonez admitted to grabbing the flight attendant’s hair and punching her in the head and face, breaking three of her teeth. She pled guilty to one count of interference with flight crew members and attendants.
While the plane was preparing for landing, the flight attendant asked Quinonez to put her face mask on correctly, buckle her seat belt, and fold her tray table. Quinonez began recording a video of the flight attendant before assaulting her. She pushed the flight attendant then stood up and punched her.
Other passengers aboard the flight intervened to stop the assault. One recorded footage of it on their phone. According to the plea agreement, the flight attendant suffered multiple bruises and a cut under one of her eyes that required stitches. Two of her three chipped teeth required crowns.
In a statement after the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said, “Attacks on flight crew members, who perform vital jobs to ensure passenger safety, will not be tolerated.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy also chimed in, stating that the outcome of the case should “send a very strong message to air travelers — the FBI will vigorously pursue anyone who assaults or interferes with flight crews.”
HuffPost was unable to reach either Quinonez or her attorney for comment.