American Airlines Passenger Arrested After Alleged Crew Attack

An American Airlines passenger was arrested on Sunday after allegedly assaulting a crew member. Chenasia Campbell, 28, punched a flight attendant multiple times whilst boasting, “cops aren’t going to do anything to me,” before an off-duty cop restrained her for the rest of the flight.

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A flight attendant was punched and dragged to the floor by a passenger. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Assault on AA flight 1357 from Miami to New York

A woman onboard American Airlines flight 1357 from Miami (MIA) to New York (JFK) assaulted a flight attendant after complaining they didn’t pick up her garbage. Chenasia Campbell followed an attendant to the crew area of the plane before launching into a verbal tirade. After a second flight attendant intervened, Campbell allegedly threw punches and pulled her hair.

The passenger briefly got into a heated argument with another passenger before returning to the crew area and yelling obscenities at the crew. She punched the second flight attendant again before claiming, “cops aren’t going to do anything to me.” The passenger also allegedly attempted to pull up or remove the flight attendant’s dress during the altercation.

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The attacker was restrained by an off-duty New York police officer who was onboard the flight. Photo: Getty Images.

The flight attendant reportedly asked the pilot to land the plane, but the request was denied. Eventually, an off-duty New York police officer onboard the plane intervened and placed the suspect in hand restraints for the rest of the flight. After the plane touched down at New York JFK Airport, Campbell was taken into custody by authorities.

According to court documents,

“The defendant reapproached the Victim in the crew area of the plane and began yelling obscenities. The defendant stated to the Victim that the “cops aren’t going to do anything to me,” and then struck the Victim with closed fists, causing the two of them to fall to the floor. At some point during the altercation, the defendant attempted to pull up or remove the Victim’s dress.”

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The passenger will face federal charges

The alleged attacker was arraigned at Brooklyn Federal Court for an assault charge on Monday. The passenger will be charged with interfering with a flight crew, which is classified as a federal offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Campbell, a New York resident who is currently unemployed, is said to have worked for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities in the past.

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The federal charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Photo: Getty Images

As stated in court documents,

“The defendant, CHENASIA I. CAMPBELL, did knowingly and intentionally assault and intimidate a flight attendant of the aircraft, interfere with the performance of the duties of the flight attendant, and lessen the ability of the flight attendant to perform those duties.”

The defendant attended a virtual hearing on Monday and was released on $15,000 bail. Prosecutors also demanded that Campbell undergo a mental health evaluation and random drug testing. Defending lawyers claim that the defendant is already participating in a mental health treatment program.

Flight attendant sustained minor injuries

Fortunately, the flight attendant received no major injuries and required no further medical assistance after landing in New York. However, court documents allege that the injuries sustained impaired her ability to perform her duties for the rest of the flight.

The flight attendant is said to have,

“… sustained scrapes to the arm and cheek, bruises to the forehead and leg, swollen hands from defending herself, and a strained neck as a result of being pulled to the floor by the defendant. The Victim was evaluated by medical personnel at JFK and refused additional medical assistance.”

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The flight attendant, fortunately, avoided any serious injuries during the assault. Photo: Getty Images

Despite the many perks of the job, being a flight attendant can be a tough gig, especially with aggressive passengers onboard. Another American Airlines attendant suffered serious injuries due to turbulence last month, while there have been several unruly passenger incidents in the past few months alone.

Have you ever experienced a similar incident on a flight? Let us know your experiences in the comments.