SAN DIEGO (AP) — A California girl who punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant within the face throughout a flight, breaking her tooth, has been sentenced to fifteen months in federal jail.
Vyvianna Quinonez was additionally ordered Tuesday by the federal decide in San Diego to pay almost $26,000 in restitution and a $7,500 high quality for the assault on a May 23, 2021, Southwest flight between Sacramento and San Diego.
The 29-year-old Sacramento girl is prohibited from flying for 3 years whereas she is on supervised launch and should take part in anger administration lessons or counseling.
Quinonez final yr pleaded responsible to 1 depend of interference with flight crew members and attendants, admitting she punched the flight attendant within the face and head with a closed fist and grabbed her hair. Neither she nor her lawyer might be reached for remark Tuesday.
During the flight’s closing descent, the attendant had requested Quinonez to buckle her seat belt, stow her tray desk, and placed on her facemask correctly.
Instead, Quinonez started recording the attendant on her cellphone, pushed her, then stood up and punched the lady within the face and grabbed her hair earlier than different passengers intervened, authorities mentioned.
The assault was recorded on one other passenger’s cellphone.
The plea settlement mentioned that the flight attendant suffered three chipped tooth, two of which wanted crowns, together with bruises and a lower underneath her left eye that wanted stitches.
“Attacks on flight crew members, who perform vital jobs to ensure passenger safety, will not be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman mentioned in an announcement after the sentencing.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy mentioned the sentence ought to “send a very strong message to air travelers — the FBI will vigorously pursue anyone who assaults or interferes with flight crews.”
The incident was a part of an escalation in unruly conduct by airline passengers amid the coronavirus pandemic and led the president of the flight attendants’ union to ask for extra federal air marshals on planes.
Airlines in 2021 reported greater than 5,000 incidents of unruly passengers to the Federal Aviation Administration.
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Most had been passengers refusing to comply with the federal requirement for passengers to put on face masks whereas on planes, however almost 300 concerned intoxicated passengers, the FAA mentioned.