American Airlines Passenger Assaults Crew After Brain Surgery

American Airlines Passenger Assaults Crew After Brain Surgery

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Last week an American Airlines passenger punched a flight attendant in the face, causing a broken nose. While nothing excuses that behavior, there might be more to the story than many had initially assumed.

American Airlines passenger punches flight attendant

We’ve seen an uptick in bad airline passenger behavior since the start of the pandemic. This has been completely unfair towards airline employees, who have had to endure a lot. Last week there was an incident on American Airlines that made national headlines.

On Wednesday, October 27, 2021, American Airlines flight 976 from New York (JFK) to Orange County (SNA) had to divert to Denver (DEN). Reports suggested that a 20-year-old passenger punched a flight attendant, causing the crew to make the decision to divert. The flight attendant suffered a broken nose, and had to be hospitalized overnight.

It goes without saying that this was a horrible incident. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker even posted a video message to Instagram, calling this “one of the worst displays” of extreme disrespect towards airline employees. He stated that the passenger in question will never be allowed to fly American Airlines again, and that the airline is doing everything possible to ensure that the passenger is prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

The passenger’s version of events

While nothing excuses this sort of behavior towards another person, I do think it’s important to acknowledge that not all incidents of air rage are necessarily just people trying to be jerks. There’s a bit of background that has come to light, which I think is at least worth being aware of (again, it in no way excuses the behavior).

The passenger at the center of this incident has been charged with interfering with a flight crew, and assault within the special aircraft jurisdiction. He now faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines. With this case now being in federal court, both sides have shared their versions of events.

According to the flight attendant who was assaulted:

  • The flight attendant was in the galley, when she felt something strike her head; when she turned to see what had struck her, she saw the defendant, and asked him if he was okay
  • The passenger didn’t apologize, but rather said he needed to use the lavatory
  • The flight attendant told the passenger the lavatory was occupied, and that the seatbelt sign was on, so he needed to be seated
  • The passenger then made a stretching motion again, but his elbow hit the flight attendant’s head
  • The flight attendant took a “defensive posture with her arms out in front of her and her hands up,” at which point the passenger “charged at her, flailing his arms,” and then he “struck her in the face with the closed fist of his right hand”

According to the passenger who assaulted the flight attendant:

  • The passenger was traveling home to California after having brain surgery in Rhode Island, in order to reconstruct portions of his skull; he had been badly injured during an assault in New York, which left him with psychological damage
  • The passenger claims that he got up to use the lavatory, and stretched in the aisle, when he accidentally bumped the flight attendant
  • At this point the passenger claims that the flight attendant “became agitated,” and began swinging at his head
  • The passenger claims that he became scared the flight attendant would hit his head (where he just had surgery), so he raised his hand in defense, but he claims the flight attendant hit her nose on his palm, causing the injury
  • The passenger’s mother also states that since his brain injury, he has symptoms of dizziness and becomes agitated more easily

Is it wrong to feel sorry for both parties?

If you ask me, this is an all around sad story. Should we feel terribly for the flight attendant who got assaulted? Yes, of course we should, she is the biggest victim in all of this, and got attacked unprovoked.

However, I also think we often assume that everyone involved in one of these air rage incidents is a malicious and horrible person who is looking to pick a fight. While that’s a possibility here, you also can’t rule out that some part of the passenger’s story may be the truth, or at least reflects his recollection of events:

  • Assuming he had brain surgery, is it possible that he was dizzy and by mistake bumped into a flight attendant? I would think so
  • Is it possible that he feared that this head could be hit, and that his intention was self defense? While I don’t buy that the injury was caused by the flight attendant hitting her nose on his palm, I don’t think it can be ruled out that he reacted out of shock, given that his head injury was allegedly due to him being assaulted

Let me once again emphasize that this doesn’t excuse any of his behavior, or the injury he caused someone else. Research should be done into seeing if this story is even true. If it is true, it sounds like his mom who was traveling with him should have been watching him more closely during the flight, to prevent an incident like this.

If this is all true, I at least have sympathy for what he’s going through…

Bottom line

Last Wednesday an American Airlines flight diverted to Denver, over an incident that was described by the company’s CEO as one of the worst displays of air rage the airline had seen. A passenger punched a flight attendant, and of course that’s awful and unacceptable. More details are emerging, and while they don’t change anything, I think they’re at least worth being aware of.

Where do OMAAT readers stand on this — does the passenger deserve a little less criticism based on what had happened to him, or…?

Conversations (87)
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  1. azamaraal Guest

    Passenger description:

    "The passenger was traveling home to California after having brain surgery in Rhode Island, in order to reconstruct portions of his skull; he had been badly injured during an assault in New York, which left him with psychological damage"

    Nobody questioned this issue. Why was this individual "badly assaulted" in NYC? History of violent behavior? Fight instituted by passenger?

    two different venues - aisle vs kitchen?

    Must be Denmark - I can smell...

    Passenger description:

    "The passenger was traveling home to California after having brain surgery in Rhode Island, in order to reconstruct portions of his skull; he had been badly injured during an assault in New York, which left him with psychological damage"

    Nobody questioned this issue. Why was this individual "badly assaulted" in NYC? History of violent behavior? Fight instituted by passenger?

    two different venues - aisle vs kitchen?

    Must be Denmark - I can smell the fish.

  2. D M Guest

    If it was known that this person was becoming easily agitated due to surgery then someone should have either chaperoned him or he should’ve stayed where he was until he healed properly. There are people that travel who literally are unable to care for themselves but they get on the plane and have no issues. This is so inconsiderate of the flight attendant. It is obvious that he wanted to attack her! The whole “her...

    If it was known that this person was becoming easily agitated due to surgery then someone should have either chaperoned him or he should’ve stayed where he was until he healed properly. There are people that travel who literally are unable to care for themselves but they get on the plane and have no issues. This is so inconsiderate of the flight attendant. It is obvious that he wanted to attack her! The whole “her face hit my palm” sounds like something a child would tell their parent when they get in trouble at school for being a bully. People have too many excuses of sympathy AFTER they abuse and terrorize people publicly! I hope justice is served for HER!

  3. Pam Guest

    Anyone who had just had cranial reconstructive surgery would be wearing a protective helmet or other protective device. The age-old story "her nose hit my hand" is about as believable as the "dog ate my homework."

  4. kenindfw Guest

    I'm calling BS on the part of the passenger on this one. First, he should still appear in court to make his case. Second, any and all records of hospitalization and interviews with doctors confirming the surgery including post op protocols and expectations, etc. should occur. I seriously doubt a patient having had brain surgery would be allowed for air travel for quite some time unless it was a (very) minor procedure. This sounds like...

    I'm calling BS on the part of the passenger on this one. First, he should still appear in court to make his case. Second, any and all records of hospitalization and interviews with doctors confirming the surgery including post op protocols and expectations, etc. should occur. I seriously doubt a patient having had brain surgery would be allowed for air travel for quite some time unless it was a (very) minor procedure. This sounds like a parent covering for their children, claiming the son is perfect and how dare they go after him.

  5. Kim Guest

    Shame on your for even considering believing the assailants “story”. I would never consider anything other than an attack on that poor young woman. As a flight attendant, I have seen it all and do not believe his version story at all. Neither should you!

  6. Kara Braxton Guest

    I'm a flight attendant. Of course he's going to say that. But our announcements say not to loiter around the lavatories and the galley. And if he accidentally hit her while stretching, was he accidentally stretching again when he hit her again? LOL!!! If he was ill, he should have not been traveling at all.

  7. Odie Guest

    As someone who has had a traumatic brain injury, I’ve never had the inclination to do violence against someone in a plane. I’m throwing the BS flag on this one.

  8. Mckenna Mary Guest

    This is complete nonsense ! He should not have been traveling alone if he was this delusional. He broke bones in her face! U printing this nonsense is disgusting

  9. Nike Guest

    Sorry but I am struggling with the story.
    I had surgery a couple of years ago. (I remember the day- it was the day after my bday) and remember having to cancel numerous flights for fear of internal bleeding and/or clotting. Even after getting the all clear to fly, some 8 weeks later, it was only short flights and after taking blood thinning meds My surgery was nowhere near as specialised as brain surgery-...

    Sorry but I am struggling with the story.
    I had surgery a couple of years ago. (I remember the day- it was the day after my bday) and remember having to cancel numerous flights for fear of internal bleeding and/or clotting. Even after getting the all clear to fly, some 8 weeks later, it was only short flights and after taking blood thinning meds My surgery was nowhere near as specialised as brain surgery- Either medical science improved a lot or this is a bit embellished

  10. Stoute Natasha Guest

    I call massive BS on this. You don't break your nose like that. For whatever reason he cracked!! Prosecute to the fullest. Enough of this air rage against crew.

  11. Deb Hoffman Guest

    OK. If the guy just had surgery, he probably shouldn't have been flying. It doesn't excuse his behavior.

  12. Earl B. Guest

    The evidence will eventually come out in court, but for now I would just be very careful about accepting as "true" anything a criminal defendant (or his Mom) says while trying to avoid a 21-year prison term. His whole story sounds very unlikely, and also doesn't seem to square very well what the other witnesses are saying happened.

  13. Kelly Guest

    I’m not buying this jerks story. Period! He should be permanently on the no fly list like every jerk that assaults airline employees.

  14. Jane Guest

    “I’m afraid she’s going to injure my head so I’m going to injure hers” -_- Even if this were even half true it does not excuse any of his behavior. This is like an alcoholic getting a DUI/ car wreck and saying he’s not responsible because he’s been drinking and intoxicated. This man belongs in jail.

  15. Ella Guest

    If the passenger has psychological issues post injury, why was he flying without supervision? Kind of like having a large, overexcited dog around kids without a muzzle, no?

  16. Baron Guest

    The videos of him walking with police in the airport don't show any evidence of any brain surgery what-so-ever. Even if he did have brain surgery that is no excuse for his behavior. If he has socialization issues because of brain surgery, he should no longer be around society so a 20 year jail sentence is perfect as well as a hefty fine.

  17. dander Guest

    you have to have a very forceful "defensive response" to break a nose. But hey there is a first for everything. Why didn't mom escort him to the lav?

  18. ImportViking New Member

    If you don't feel fit for flying, then don't fly. Severe dizziness is one of those symptoms that may indicate that it's better to stay on the ground, especially when combined with recent traumatic experiences. Every passenger has a responsibility to be fit for flying. If you just come from a hospital, why don't you ask the staff what's the best and safest way to get home? They're the experts, Im sure they have tips...

    If you don't feel fit for flying, then don't fly. Severe dizziness is one of those symptoms that may indicate that it's better to stay on the ground, especially when combined with recent traumatic experiences. Every passenger has a responsibility to be fit for flying. If you just come from a hospital, why don't you ask the staff what's the best and safest way to get home? They're the experts, Im sure they have tips and advice.

    I've seen FA's bump accidentally into people and people bump into FA's. No one ever ended up with a broken nose, no flight ever had to be diverted because of it. And I've been on 1000s of flights. So this must have been some new level.

    I guess we'll learn what really happened during the court case. I bet there's witnesses, evidence and so. So far I'm not convinced by the lawyer of the "patient".

  19. NES Guest

    If he had a head issue he could have notified the crew at boarding to his sensitivity. What if there had been severe turbulence? Why wasn't he wearing one of those helmets that some people wear (I have seen them on the plane worn by some passengers). His story is the biggest load of baloney I have read. He broke her nose. That takes force. He is an entitled twit who didn't like the word...

    If he had a head issue he could have notified the crew at boarding to his sensitivity. What if there had been severe turbulence? Why wasn't he wearing one of those helmets that some people wear (I have seen them on the plane worn by some passengers). His story is the biggest load of baloney I have read. He broke her nose. That takes force. He is an entitled twit who didn't like the word "no", like he had to wait for the toilet. I hope he is fined, she sues him for assault and he goes to jail.

  20. Joey Guest

    I don't buy the passengers story at All.
    You only need to look at his body language when he was handcuffed. His strut is your classic dumb a$$ asian punk walk. I grew up with many of them and that is a classic sign he's a giant D bag. I don't want to hear brain surgery excuses.

  21. GrownUpDisneyFamily Guest

    Is it possible that facing jail time a person tries to float a story to garner sympathy and place blame on the victim?

  22. Cheryle Guest

    I would say to check out the story of the individual and his mom. Get hospital and doctors verification. Could be all lies to get away with assaulting the flight attendant. If the surgery story is true, the airline should have been informed of it before the flight. Mom would have/should have been more aware of where and what he was doing. I have flown many flights on AA and never saw this sort of behavior from any flight attendant..

  23. DoYourThang Guest

    Not buying the defense or his slick lawyer's way of slithering out of this one. The perp punched a flight attendant with his fist and fractured her face. I cannot figure out "why" he was released in Denver, made it home to Orange County and was arrested later. He obviously is a threat to himself and to others. Not buying the "brain surgery" freakiness. The guy is obviously "not right" and was travelling with his...

    Not buying the defense or his slick lawyer's way of slithering out of this one. The perp punched a flight attendant with his fist and fractured her face. I cannot figure out "why" he was released in Denver, made it home to Orange County and was arrested later. He obviously is a threat to himself and to others. Not buying the "brain surgery" freakiness. The guy is obviously "not right" and was travelling with his Mother. Frankly, I hope this will be the final straw for assaults in the air. He deserves no less than 10 years in federal prison and a permanent ban from flying all carriers for life. Thankfully, it looks like the DOT is working on a permanent ban for these perps on all airline travel very soon. Unfortunately, the guy probably has no money or assets but my hope is that the F/A sues AA until the end of time because they did not provide a safe and secure working environment. My advice to her is to "lawyer up" and get the best representation in the nation. I hope she recovers from her injuries and stays strong.

  24. Widerightv New Member

    Not all incidents of air rage are of people trying to be jerks??? Please give me one incident where air rage was not a person acting like a jerk.
    If this act was done by the guy that killed Bin Laden, then you would have rushed, quickly, to judgment that the guy was a jerk.
    Stop feeling sorry for this "Jerk" and bully and applaud that American will never carry this guy again.

  25. Henry Guest

    If he is to be believed the why was no one travelling with him. Where was his family?

    1. DoYourThang Guest

      His mother was travelling with him. Shameful.

    2. Ann Guest

      My question exactly. Someone who has had brain surgery should have a carer travel with him.

  26. Perry H Guest

    BS. If he becomes agitated easily since his injury he shouldn’t travel on a plane. He is responsible for his actions

  27. Skip Lehman Guest

    Throw the bum in jail where he belongs, he can recover from his brain surgery in the joint!

  28. Nino Guest

    Wow, reminds me of those tongue and cheek gangster movie comments when being interrogated by the police: “I don’t know how he broke his legs and arms, perhaps he fell UP the stairs….”

  29. Jorge Paez Guest

    Yes, her face ran into my fist!
    That's the ticket!

  30. Jill Guest

    I am a flight attendant and had a ruptured brain aneurysm. Almost died. Had brain surgery. This defense is B.S...I've been bumped many times on my flights even after I returned to work 6 months later. WHEN I GOT BUMPED, MIGHT I ADD MANY TIMES, I NEVER HAD THE URGE, RESPONSE, TO HIT SOMEONE OR TO PROTECT MY HEAD. I also know that if I had flown right after my surgery, as a passenger, I...

    I am a flight attendant and had a ruptured brain aneurysm. Almost died. Had brain surgery. This defense is B.S...I've been bumped many times on my flights even after I returned to work 6 months later. WHEN I GOT BUMPED, MIGHT I ADD MANY TIMES, I NEVER HAD THE URGE, RESPONSE, TO HIT SOMEONE OR TO PROTECT MY HEAD. I also know that if I had flown right after my surgery, as a passenger, I certainly would have had my seatbelt on so if there was turbulence, I wouldnt hit my head on anything! I definitely wouldn't have been stretching in the galley, I'd have gone right back to my seat and buckled up!

    1. Samo Guest

      And because you never had those symptoms, no one else can have them either.

      By that logic, I can say that since I only had some mild cough during my COVID infection, no one else can have serious problems with COVID. But everyone understands that would be silly thing to say - and so is your post.

    2. Eric Guest

      There is more chances of you getting injured by a turbulence, than by a a female flight attendant. Jail time . Period.

  31. Brandon Biden Guest

    Hmmm, this could easily be verified but why does this come to light now?
    I sense his defense attorney is involved.

    If you are dizzy, have medical or mental issues, detoxing or need a hamster to feel safe to fly, perhaps you should take Greyhound.
    5 Years No Fly List, 5 years for Agg assault, large fine and pay back AA for fuel, time.

    1. Me Guest

      Permanent ban from all airlines 5 years isn't enough...

    2. Donato Guest

      I agree, after the day in court. I mean a real court, not this court of public opinion with little facts to go on.

    3. Yar Pennington Guest

      And what about the flight attendant? Should she not receive compensation for her pain and the trauma this unprovoked physical attack has caused?

    4. Widerightv New Member

      Good point. I seem to remember that a guy avoided a murder charge to a SF mayor and city councilman because of the twinkies he ate. That is a terrible defense that was bought hook, line and sinker.

  32. MOC Guest

    We need a no-fly/banned for life list that all Airlines subscribe to and enforce. If you break an AA crew members’s nose and AA bans you for life then all airlines should also ban you for life. Period.
    Otherwise the criminal just goes off and flies Delta or UA, etc……

    If you aren’t evolved enough to follow instructions and keep your hands to yourself then you don’t get to fly commercial…. Drive

    1. Donato Guest

      NO!
      Private Industry might be able to make such rules. Airlines use Government airports, ATC (and funding!)and are subject to laws and regulations.
      I would agree if there was a Court or Police process to ensure fairness and have the Government run the list.

    2. Eric Guest

      No excuse me sir, airlines are private business, and if you are a threat to the integrity of the the flight , other passengers and customers, you are not an acceptable customers. Period.
      Drive or buy a plane.

    3. ImportViking New Member

      I'd rather not see someone who claims severe dizziness drive a car across the USA either. I'm sure there's Greyhounds, Amtrak, maybe family to pick him up, Uber... there's a lot of alternatives.

  33. MKR Guest

    Sorry, no excuse. Someone does not end up with broken facial bones from having someone "bump" into them.

    1. Cheryle Guest

      You are so right! If the hit was hard enough to break a person's nose, it was INTENTIONAL!! Charges, jail time and big time fines for the individual.

  34. Lavin75 New Member

    There might be a reason. There is no excuse. No matter the impairment, whether recent brain surgery, schizophrenic breakdown, reactivated history of trauma, panic over a confined space, or just because you're a violent person, you put your hands on someone else, you need to pay. The "hit her nose on my palm" defense seems akin to one of the murderesses in the musical Chicago's "Cell Block Tango" (he had it coming). After her husband...

    There might be a reason. There is no excuse. No matter the impairment, whether recent brain surgery, schizophrenic breakdown, reactivated history of trauma, panic over a confined space, or just because you're a violent person, you put your hands on someone else, you need to pay. The "hit her nose on my palm" defense seems akin to one of the murderesses in the musical Chicago's "Cell Block Tango" (he had it coming). After her husband accuses her in a jealous rampage, "You've been screwing the milkman?!?" she tales, "And then he ran into my knife. He ran into my knife ten times." Gone from the airline for life. Good. Prosecuted to the fullest extent. Better. You are not excused. Taking into account the additional trauma inflicted upon the trapped passengers on this flight, as good as the perpetrator can throw a punch, I am holding out the intention that the "book" will be thrown at this guy. 20 years. May it be so.

    1. Samo Guest

      "No matter the impairment, whether recent brain surgery, schizophrenic breakdown, reactivated history of trauma, panic over a confined space, or just because you're a violent person, you put your hands on someone else, you need to pay."
      Yes, making someone who tried to protect themselves because they were confused "pay" is absolutely going to make situation better and prevent future crimes.

      If only we had some tool - we could call it the internet...

      "No matter the impairment, whether recent brain surgery, schizophrenic breakdown, reactivated history of trauma, panic over a confined space, or just because you're a violent person, you put your hands on someone else, you need to pay."
      Yes, making someone who tried to protect themselves because they were confused "pay" is absolutely going to make situation better and prevent future crimes.

      If only we had some tool - we could call it the internet - that would allow us to access data from all over the world and find out how well does this approach work compared to other approaches.

    2. Lavin75 New Member

      I do agree. "Making someone who tried to protect themselves [from a threat that didn't occur, by smashing in a flight attendant's nose"] 'pay'...is absolutely going to make [the] situation better and prevent future crimes". Agreed. 100%.

    3. Lucas Guest

      I'm a flight attendant.
      If this individual truly had 'issues' as a result of his brain surgery, the crew should have been alerted upon boarding. If his mother was on the flight as a chaperone who was necessary during his travel due to his 'issues' and knew of his 'issues' she should have accompanied him whenever he left his seat. Surgery is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior and attacking anyone....flight crew or passenger.

      I'm a flight attendant.
      If this individual truly had 'issues' as a result of his brain surgery, the crew should have been alerted upon boarding. If his mother was on the flight as a chaperone who was necessary during his travel due to his 'issues' and knew of his 'issues' she should have accompanied him whenever he left his seat. Surgery is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior and attacking anyone....flight crew or passenger.
      He needs the book thrown at him, prison and a fine. Also, no fly for him and his mother. I hold her culpable, as well. Too many of my co-workers at every airline are being assaulted while while working.
      This must stop.

    4. Lavin75 New Member

      Thank you for your service, Lucas. :) This must stop. And it will.

  35. Mia Guest

    Hogwash. I don’t believe his “accident” story for one second. He is just yet another entitled passenger who hates hearing “no” from service workers and thus punched a female service worker hard enough to break her nose. Has the “guts” to beat women but not to own up to it. Enough of the excuses for nasty, entitled, violent air passengers who think they have the right to treat service workers like punching bags!

  36. Sheila McEvoy Guest

    Pure unadulterated BS. Way to try to turn this and blame the FA victim. Prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law, then lifetime ban on ALL airlines and rail.

  37. Another Lump Guest

    The word "assault" has been watered down so much in today's victimhood culture. Now assault can be touching someone's shoulder, if the person bring accused is not PC enough of course. You people are such babies.

    1. Steve Gold

      Assault is still assault but yes i believe the "watering down" you mention does actually minimize extreme cases of assault and can actually do more harm. It does appear to be going in the direction of crying wolf.

    2. Frank Guest

      Assault has not been watered down. The term you are both looking for is battery. That's why there are always levels in the charge and separate torts. Don't pretend to be experts in the law when you haven't taken a class let alone passed the bar.

    3. Steve Gold

      Cool brag that you passed the bar, no one cares Frank.
      Assault has 100% been watered down in the media just search for the word on this site and see the countless post labeled assault, no one is making a legal distinction between all these cases they all just get thrown together as assault in the media which does water it down to the point that people dont care anymore because its "happening" so frequently.

  38. RF Guest

    Where are the witness statements?
    There has to be others that saw what transpired.

  39. Abey Guest

    Why don’t airplanes have cameras? It would solve so many of these issues

    1. Greg Guest

      There are at least 10 people within 5 feet of what transpires in most airplane cabins, and serve as witnesses.

      Lucky thank you for bringing the additional information to light.

      There is more I'm sure from both sides.

      Parker was pressured by unions who immediately place blame on opposing parties before a balanced investigation.

    2. Greg Guest

      Examples of what could come out from both sides with a balanced investigation

      - Passenger has a history of outbursts (maybe the assault in NY was instigated by his actions)
      - FA made an aggressive move toward pax
      - Passenger was told clear to fly by medical staff, with no warning of episodes

      It's possible the passenger is pathological at one extreme, and drugged out, given bad advice by his medical team up against a short fused FA on another

      Due process

  40. MIchael R Karpiel Guest

    The passengers side of the story seems to me to be creative writing and building a defense by his lawyer. Sorry I just don't buy it so see my comments below:

    The passenger was traveling home to California after having brain surgery in Rhode Island, in order to reconstruct portions of his skull; he had been badly injured during an assault in New York, which left him with psychological damage (OK no issue with this...

    The passengers side of the story seems to me to be creative writing and building a defense by his lawyer. Sorry I just don't buy it so see my comments below:

    The passenger was traveling home to California after having brain surgery in Rhode Island, in order to reconstruct portions of his skull; he had been badly injured during an assault in New York, which left him with psychological damage (OK no issue with this statement)
    The passenger claims that he got up to use the lavatory, and stretched in the aisle, when he accidentally bumped the flight attendant (No issue with this statement)
    At this point the passenger claims that the flight attendant “became agitated,” and began swinging at his head (Really???? Does anyone actually beleive that someone who is used to tight spaces reacts by taking a swing at a passenger if they are just bumped)
    The passenger claims that he became scared the flight attendant would hit his head (where he just had surgery), so he raised his hand in defense, but he claims the flight attendant hit her nose on his palm, causing the injury (Yeah right they just fell down and hurt themselves. Are you kidding me)

    Yes there are 2 sides to each story but this side seems awfully unlikely. Yes this person may have reacted violently due to his prior injuries and brain damage but that is NO EXCUSE and they should not have been flying.

  41. excrew Guest

    OK if he had surgery on his head and by the sound of it, quite recent then he should not of been flying, if he was allowed medically to fly why didn't he warn the crew of his situation, beforehand. I am a retired Cabin service director and there is no way assault is acceptable under any reason. If he was a risk, he should of been escorted by a responsible person.

    1. Cheryle Guest

      If he just had brain surgery, I'm sure the surgeon would have advised against flying. High altitude and cabin pressure would have affected his head. Was his head bandaged? was the crew warned previously of a brain surgery patient being aboard? The whole story seems made up after the fact. Not TRUE!

  42. Eric Guest

    Not an excuse. A lot of people are flying when they shouldn’t be. If you’re not well enough to fly, you shouldn’t be on a plane. It’s dangerous and irresponsible. Obviously if the seatbelt sign was on, the guy shouldn’t have been up anyways. And if he wasn’t well enough to recognize that the seatbelt was on, he shouldn’t have been flying to begin with. His fault, ultimately.

  43. Morgan Gold

    I am on the passengers side. FA's do have to put up with a lot of s**t, but in this case it seems the passenger accidentally bumped into her and then was afraid he would injure his head again. This I think is a matter for the courts, but if the surgery was legitimate and all the documentation can be provided along with doctors testimony, then why should this man be charged and have to...

    I am on the passengers side. FA's do have to put up with a lot of s**t, but in this case it seems the passenger accidentally bumped into her and then was afraid he would injure his head again. This I think is a matter for the courts, but if the surgery was legitimate and all the documentation can be provided along with doctors testimony, then why should this man be charged and have to face 20 years in jail and a hefty fine. If he was assaulted himself I can only imagine what he must have been thinking in this situation, the PTSD, the horrible flashbacks, thinking it would happen again etc.

    Also very poor from AA and Parker to release a video/statement like that after not really knowing the full facts and whole story. Should have just said a full investigation is underway.

    1. Mishas Guest

      Why do you accept the passenger version as truth? She accidentally hit her face on his palm and broke her facial bones? Seems doubtful.

    2. Lavin75 New Member

      Respectfully, if symptoms excuse battery, with nearly 52 million Americans living with some form of mental illness, then we're in for a whole lot of trouble. Not just in the skies, but in this country.

  44. Dr. B Guest

    Really??? Flying home to CA after brain surgery?? It takes months/years to recover. This guy doesn’t know how he is going to act or respond or even interpret anything after a traumatic brain injury. We don’t know how aggressive he was before this incident. We do know presently he is a violent person. Even the mothers says he gets agitated! He should be under supervision at all times. More than likely, He will be declared...

    Really??? Flying home to CA after brain surgery?? It takes months/years to recover. This guy doesn’t know how he is going to act or respond or even interpret anything after a traumatic brain injury. We don’t know how aggressive he was before this incident. We do know presently he is a violent person. Even the mothers says he gets agitated! He should be under supervision at all times. More than likely, He will be declared mentally incompetent and get away with his actions. He should never fly again!

    1. Donato Guest

      I am guessing this surgery was cosmetic in nature, maybe a follow up to finish a procedure.

    2. Ron Guest

      Such a clueless statement. My son flew home to CA after 3 consecutive brain surgeries in NY. We were home 1.5 weeks after last surgery. Reality is you often can’t avoid travel for weeks or months in such circumstances. But you also don’t know for sure what side effects could manifest. Insurance tends to get antsy after the first $ million is expended. I feel for the FA for sure. But the mitigating circumstances might...

      Such a clueless statement. My son flew home to CA after 3 consecutive brain surgeries in NY. We were home 1.5 weeks after last surgery. Reality is you often can’t avoid travel for weeks or months in such circumstances. But you also don’t know for sure what side effects could manifest. Insurance tends to get antsy after the first $ million is expended. I feel for the FA for sure. But the mitigating circumstances might lead observers to be more kind rather than throwing this individual under the bus. We don’t know the facts, so shy rush to judge? Having a special needs child can give you a different perspective on life. Just sayin’…

    3. Ray Gold

      Because this surgery hits home you buy this B’s? No wonder the US is in this state of chaos.

  45. shoeguy Guest

    Whatever. Was he traveling alone? Maybe he shouldn't have been. Who travels alone after reconstructive brain surgery? Ban him, fine him, and if there is a legitimate reason to prosecute him, that should move forward.

  46. Alonzo Guest

    And THIS is why AA doesn't serve alcohol on flights, right? Lmao, who cares. Another day, another crackpot story.

  47. Regis Guest

    Always irresponsible and dangerous to rush to judgement without all the facts. The truth is only one, but there always two sides for every story. In the interest of fairness, I am glad Ben is adding the missing pieces to this incident.

  48. David D Guest

    He broke her nose! Of course he is going to say that it was an accident. Assuming a defensive posture isn’t going to break someone else’s nose. Period.
    I think it’s safe to say that someone who assaults a flight attendant to the point of hospitalization is also capable of lying about it.

  49. David Guest

    He broke her nose! Of course he is going to say that it was an accident. Assuming a defensive posture isn’t going to break someone else’s nose. Period.
    I think it’s safe to say that someone who assaults a flight attendant to the point of hospitalization is also capable of lying about it.

  50. Dick Bupkiss Guest

    This is why we have a legal system. Plenty of witnesses can attest to what happened, and there's evidence -- broken nose requiring hospital stay, among other stuff....yeah, right, you hit my open-palm with your nose and that broke your nose. Suuuuuure.

    Alternate Realities (formerly known as bullshit and lies).

    Go to court, sort it out, do NOT settle. If found guilty, impose the maximum possible fine. Zero tolerance for this crap.

  51. david Guest

    I'm not sure what's worse - the guy who did this, or the blogger that writes about it just to increase his click count

  52. Jeff Guest

    Stop making excuses for unacceptable behavior. Unruly passengers should be fined by FAA, prosecuted and severely punished by the criminal justice system and permanently banned from all domestic airlines.

  53. Nelson Guest

    I don't believe one word of that jerk! Hope he will be well fined and get some jail time. There are NO excuses for such behaviour.
    Hope the FA gets well soon and don't ever have to go trough such stupidity.
    That morron should be blacklisted on any Airline!

  54. Sharon Guest

    the passenger assaulted and battered the employee. Full stop.

    There was intent to punch, which is why she put her hands up to protect herself and battery was the act of touching the FA (forcibly).

    I am so sorry for the Employee, and I hope her union protects her with adequate legal counsel.

    1. Donato Guest

      Gee, If someone went into full assault mode and I was just after brain/head surgery I would also react. I am not taking sides but this has to be examined very carefully. He might not have had intent to strike her, i.e., it might have been an accident. In some cases Cabin Crew imagines they are being attacked and escalate issues to violence.
      I have been involved in a near issue where a Delta...

      Gee, If someone went into full assault mode and I was just after brain/head surgery I would also react. I am not taking sides but this has to be examined very carefully. He might not have had intent to strike her, i.e., it might have been an accident. In some cases Cabin Crew imagines they are being attacked and escalate issues to violence.
      I have been involved in a near issue where a Delta Cabin attendant berated me for standing near the lav. I was waiting to assist my wife with any lav. door issues. After being berated and threatened I sat down and forgot about the issue. I assumed life goes on. A while later, the cart is rolled past and I murmur "watch your elbows". The same cabin attendant jumped at me and asked me what I said then immediately threatened to have me restrained if I interfered again.
      For the record, I am a clean cut, non violent, older Health Professional that has never been violent. Ever.

    2. Ray Gold

      “ The passenger claims that he became scared the flight attendant would hit his head (where he just had surgery), so he raised his hand in defense, but he claims the flight attendant hit her nose on his palm, causing the injury‘

      And you think this sounds like a true story? Dont have kids. You are one of the suckers born every minute. This sounds like a 6 year old.

  55. Tracy Guest

    How do you break your own nose on someone's self-defensively raised palm?

    1. Alinsfca Guest

      Exactly, I call that BS lawyer speak.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Samo Guest

And because you never had those symptoms, no one else can have them either. By that logic, I can say that since I only had some mild cough during my COVID infection, no one else can have serious problems with COVID. But everyone understands that would be silly thing to say - and so is your post.

3
Lucas Guest

I'm a flight attendant. If this individual truly had 'issues' as a result of his brain surgery, the crew should have been alerted upon boarding. If his mother was on the flight as a chaperone who was necessary during his travel due to his 'issues' and knew of his 'issues' she should have accompanied him whenever he left his seat. Surgery is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior and attacking anyone....flight crew or passenger. He needs the book thrown at him, prison and a fine. Also, no fly for him and his mother. I hold her culpable, as well. Too many of my co-workers at every airline are being assaulted while while working. This must stop.

2
Nino Guest

Wow, reminds me of those tongue and cheek gangster movie comments when being interrogated by the police: “I don’t know how he broke his legs and arms, perhaps he fell UP the stairs….”

2
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