Vyvianna Quinonez witness says she was provoked before punching Southwest flight attendant in video
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: A viral video shows how Vyvianna Quinonez, a 28-year-old who hails from the Sacramento suburb of Antelope, allegedly punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, knocking her teeth out. Quinonez has since been arrested and charged with felony battery.
The incident reportedly took place on Sunday, May 23, on a Southwest Airlines flight from Sacramento to San Diego. “Video shows the moment a woman punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant and knocking out two of her teeth. The incident reportedly started over a mask violation,” tweeted ABC News’ Sam Sweeney.
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Video shows the moment a woman punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant and knocking out two of her teeth. The incident reportedly started over a mask violation. pic.twitter.com/NAPZknOs1e— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) May 27, 2021
The video begins with the passenger, seated to the right of Quinonez, pointing at the flight attendant and saying, “We are gonna sue you.” It is quickly followed by a now-standing Quinonez throwing a power-packed punch at the flight attendant on the right side of her face.
As she attempted to punch her more, a male passenger got up and intervened. Quinonez sat down as he shouted at her, saying: “Sit the f**k down”. He also shouted, “Don’t you dare touch her,” several times. At this point, the unnamed flight attendant could be seen behind him, looking dazed and confused. She also had a large amount of blood on her face. As the man continued to shout at Quinonez, the flight attendant made her way to the back of the cabin.
This horrific video was reportedly captured by San Diego resident Michelle Manner, who was seated a few rows away from Quinonez. While Southwest Airlines said in a statement that the passenger “repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions” and became “verbally and physically abusive” as Flight 700 from Sacramento landed at San Diego International Airport, Manner had a different testimony altogether.
She said that the flight attendant provoked the incident. “Vyvianna had said to her three times that we could hear ‘get off of me,’ ‘quit touching me,’ ‘get your hands off of me,” Manner said.
Speaking to the Sacramento Bee, Manner said, “It was all bad. It was a very shaking experience. The argument went both ways.” She said that the passenger and flight attendant had a verbal argument just before it became physical, but that she did not capture that part of the altercation on camera.
Manner also claimed that the flight attendant “was nothing but provocative, leaning over the lady (Quinonez) on the aisle seat” during the flight. The crew member was “very rude and unprofessional the whole flight,” she claimed.
Speaking to a Fox affiliate, Manner said that the flight attendant rudely told Quinonez and other family members to put on their face masks -- which she said may have fallen beneath their noses. “It was so unnecessary. In the first altercation, she had said that she was going to call the captain. And she should’ve just stayed there in her back cubby,” Manner said. “But she came back out screaming at them again.”
“The flight attendant continued to yell. And I mean she was yelling. We got to the point where we’re like, should we start videoing this?” Manner said. “She was very unprofessional. Very rude, about the way she handled anything.”
Quinonez was booked on Sunday, May 23, into Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee, California, and was charged with felony battery causing serious bodily injury. She was released the same day after posting $35,000 bond.