A violent incident onboard a Southwest Airlines flight dating back to May 2021 has just received an update on national news as a female passenger who punched a flight attendant in the face and broke a few of her teeth was sentenced to 15 months in prison last week.
The assailant was arraigned right after the incident last May and which has been plea-bargained with the final sentence being spoken by the judge last week – one year after this happened.
Not only will the individual do a stint in prison but the judge also levied high fines and restitution payments against the person. Additionally, she’ll be on the federal no-fly list for three years.
This was reported by KCRA in California last Friday after the matter was closed in a San Diego court.
A California woman who punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant in the face during a flight, breaking her teeth, has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.
Vyvianna Quinonez was also ordered Tuesday by the federal judge in San Diego to pay nearly $26,000 in restitution and a $7,500 fine for the assault on a May 23, 2021, Southwest flight between Sacramento and San Diego.
The 29-year-old Sacramento woman is prohibited from flying for three years while she is on supervised release and must participate in anger management classes or counseling.
Quinonez last year pleaded guilty to one count of interference with flight crew members and attendants, admitting she punched the flight attendant in the face and head with a closed fist and grabbed her hair. Neither she nor her attorney could be reached for comment Tuesday.
During the flight’s final descent, the attendant had asked Quinonez to buckle her seat belt, stow her tray table, and put on her facemask properly.
Instead, Quinonez began recording the attendant on her cellphone, pushed her, then stood up and punched the woman in the face and grabbed her hair before other passengers intervened, authorities said.
The assault was recorded on another passenger’s cellphone.
The plea agreement said that the flight attendant suffered three chipped teeth, two of which needed crowns, along with bruises and a cut under her left eye that needed stitches.
“Attacks on flight crew members, who perform vital jobs to ensure passenger safety, will not be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement after the sentencing.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy said the sentence should “send a very strong message to air travelers — the FBI will vigorously pursue anyone who assaults or interferes with flight crews.”
The incident was part of an escalation in unruly behavior by airline passengers amid the coronavirus pandemic and led the president of the flight attendants’ union to ask for more federal air marshals on planes.
Airlines in 2021 reported more than 5,000 incidents of unruly passengers to the Federal Aviation Administration. …
News reports and research throughout the past years linked the increase in violent incidents on board aircraft and at airports with federal rules many passengers feel they don’t need to comply with or rogue about.
Interestingly (or not), this month it was also reported that following the retraction of the majority of these rules by the federal government led to less violations and less deployment of law enforcement to such travel-related incidents.
I’m not sure why adults feel it’s necessary to engage in physical, violent behavior with total strangers over something that has been written into law. If you want to complain write your Congressman or Senator. Don’t smash another person’s face in. These workers are only there to do their job!
A $26,000 restitution might sound like a decent amount but consider the lady now had to take care of three broken teeth for the rest of her life. It’s quite likely that this will cost a lot more than $26k over time so maybe there will be civil litigation as well to go after her financially (if viable).
I have witnessed some pretty awful behavior on U.S. domestic flights with plenty of potential for aggression on both sides. One incident took place in the United Club at LAX where two people shouted at each other. The second time included me where my mask snapped off while getting the carry-on out of the overhead bin and some lady started to immediately scream like the plane was on fire. I laughed and ignored her after fixing the mask which is probably the best way to deal with these situations. Don’t get into fights on planes, it’s just not worth the trouble being part of this F(l)ight Club.
A female assailant from a Southwest Airlines flight fight in May 2021 has been sentenced to a 15-month prison stint. Maybe an attorney can chime in how much time she’ll likely do and what the “three years supervised release” means. Is this in addition to the 15 months?
Thankfully – according to recent media reports – such crazy incidents are slowly but sharply reducing since the mask mandates have been lifted. These arguments and fights onboard airplanes and in airports were starting to get tiresome and out of hand.