FORT WORTH- A passenger on an American Airlines (AA) flight from Texas to Montana, identified as Keith Edward Fagiana from Las Vegas, allegedly assaulted a flight attendant after being asked to stop kicking another passenger’s seat.
The incident occurred on Flight AA1497 from Dallas to Bozeman on Wednesday when a fellow passenger reported Fagiana for “violently kicking” their seat, as per WPDE.
American Airlines Passenger Hits Attendant
Following the flight attendant’s instruction to cease the behavior, Fagiana purportedly responded by “yelling expletives” and punching the crew member in the stomach four times, according to a criminal complaint cited by the outlet. Subsequently, the flight attendant, along with other passengers, subdued Fagiana and restrained him using flex cuffs.
At approximately 1:50 p.m., the pilot declared a level two threat, prompting the flight to divert to Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. Law enforcement met Fagiana upon arrival, charging him with interference with a flight crew.
Passenger Dazia Poland recorded a video of Fagiana being escorted off the flight, which landed at 2:20 p.m. and resumed its journey to Bozeman approximately 30 minutes later, as reported by ABC 7 Amarillo.
According to Poland, another passenger informed her that Fagiana was spitting at people, and she personally witnessed him banging his head against the window.
Upon complaining about the discomfort of the flex cuffs, Fagiana allegedly kicked a police officer in the groin and spat on other officers when the plastic restraints were being replaced with regular handcuffs, as per the complaint cited by WPDE.
He reportedly acknowledged engaging in a confrontation with the officers because he did not want to be apprehended, according to the outlet.
Fagiana informed the FBI that he couldn’t recall the events on the plane but acknowledged consuming Captain Morgan rum at various bars before the flight.
Upon the removal of the flex cuffs, Fagiana reportedly kicked an airport police officer in the groin and spat on other officers, as outlined in the criminal complaint.
American Airlines stated to ABC 7, “Acts of violence are not tolerated by American Airlines, and we are committed to working closely with law enforcement in their investigation.”
A spokesperson for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants conveyed in a statement to Fox 4, “Yesterday, another Flight Attendant was assaulted by a customer. Our priority is to care for the affected crewmember. This violent behavior must stop.” The FBI and the FAA are actively investigating the incident.”
Ron McCallum, a pilot and aviation attorney unrelated to this case, indicated to Fox 4 that the incident should be considered a felony.
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