VIDEO: Flight attendant’s teeth knocked out by passenger
WARNING: This video does contain images depicting violence. Some blood is shown. View discretion is advised.
SAN DIEGO (ABC) — A Southwest flight attendant had her teeth knocked out after a passenger attacked her for allegedly enforcing a masking policy Sunday.
A San Diego resident and passenger, Michelle Manner, captured the incident on camera.
In the video, you see a woman, identified as Vyvianna Quinonez, punch the flight attendant multiple times until a male passenger gets in the way to stop her.
“I was shocked at what was going on,” said Manner. “ I could tell that her teeth were loose when she was back in the cubby, and her face was bleeding pretty bad.”
Witnesses say it all started as an argument over Southwest’s masking policy.
Manner said a short time later things got heated when the flight attendant got too close to Quinonez while enforcing the mask mandate. The attendant was reaching over Quinonez while speaking with a mother passenger in the same row when the first punch was thrown.
The flight attendant reportedly had two teeth knocked out and sustain multiple injuries to the face.
“Both parties were wrong in my opinion; they both did not handle this the way it should have been handled,” said Manner. “She was asked three times at least by the passenger before she got hit to ‘stop, back up, get off me.’”
A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines could not confirm if this was a mask-related incident.
San Diego officers were called in to escort Quinonez off the flight. She was later arrested for battery. She is now permanently ban from flying w
The flight attendant was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Lyn Montgomery, president of the union representing Southwest flight attendants, wrote an open letter to the airline’s CEO calling for increased safety measures for flight crews.
She said from Apr. 8 to May 15, there were more than 475 passenger misconduct incidents on Southwest flights alone.
“I believe most of the problems are pandemic related, and the wearing of the masks has been a constant challenge for flight attendants to enforce,” said Montgomery.
A Federal Aviation Administration added that “Based on our experience, we can say with confidence that the number of reports we’ve received during the past several months are significantly higher than the numbers we’ve seen in the past.”