Unruly American Airlines passenger arrested for SUCKER-PUNCHING flight attendant
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: An unruly American Airlines passenger was arrested by the police after he was caught on a mobile video, punching a flight attendant in the back of the head. Other passengers helped detain the man and he was arrested on landing at Los Angeles International Airport, New York Post reported. The incident took place on Wednesday, September 21, on American Airlines Flight 377 from San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, the airline said in a statement.
The man who has been detained on suspicion of interfering with a flight crew can face up to 20 years behind bars. A video was posted to Twitter by a friend of another passenger that showed the attendant confronting the man who was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, in the aisle. The post said that the man got agitated about being told not to use the restroom in the first-class cabin.
Violence in the air: a friend was travelling from Cabo to LAX, when a passenger hit a flight attendant for not letting use him the first class bathroom. He was later restrained by other passengers and arrested upon touchdown. The video shot was by Barrie Livingstone pic.twitter.com/PntVqWyWs9— Saad Mohseni (@saadmohseni) September 22, 2022
“Once he started screaming at him, the flight attendant just turned around and I think he was going to go and do something,” Barrie Livingstone, who took the video, told KTLA. “But as he turned around and walked away, the guy jumped out of his seat, bolted down the (aisle), and punched him in the back. It was totally unprovoked.” He then added, "It felt like you were very helpless and then every 10 minutes, he sort of had Tourette’s [syndrome] and would just lash out and start screaming and shouting about being the messiah and feeling misunderstood." The attacker appears to return to his seat while the attendant runs out of the cabin, the video shows. Four other passengers restrained the man with zip-ties on his hands and feet, Livingstone told KTLA.
“Acts of violence against our team members are not tolerated by American Airlines,” the airline said in a statement. “The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with law enforcement in their investigation. We thank our crew for their quick action and professionalism to ensure the safety of their fellow team members and customers on board.”
A witness who gave his name only as Kevin claimed that the attacker began to whisper that “there are 10 killers on the plane,” prior to the alleged assault. Another witness said that a female flight attendant made the man sit down before he was confronted by her male colleague. CBS News reported that the attacker was loitering near the first-class cabin and sat in an unoccupied seat near the wall separating the area from the rest of the plane.
He was later identified as 33-year-old Alexander Tung Cuu Le of Westminster and was scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon, September 22.