A rather dramatic video has surfaced on social media reportedly showing a fight that broke out on a Spirit Airlines plane in Puerto Rico. According to the comments online, the fight broke out over an argument about wearing face masks onboard. The fight escalated until police used a taser to subdue a passenger. Here’s everything we know.
A viral video
The video, which has been viewed almost 100,000 times on Twitter, was filmed by another passenger named Alfredo on Spirit Airlines flight NK2322 from Newark, New Jersey, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The flight landed on time, shortly before 19:00 local time.
However, upon arrival at San Juan airport, the argument started. According to David Begnaud on Twitter, who investigated the incident for CBS news, the argument started because police had been called on several passengers who had been rowdy during the flight. Begnaud reported that,
“During the flight, a young man was moving about the plane, switching seats and not wearing a mask. Flight attendants, according to Alfredo, instructed the man to stop switching seats & to wear his mask. The man didn’t stop. When the plane landed, police were called.”
Caught on Camera: A fight over whether or not to wear a mask onboard a Spirit Airlines plane that had just arrived in Puerto Rico led to a woman – who police say was the aggressor – being tased by police who are considering filing charges.
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) October 27, 2020
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Racial slurs may have provoked the attack
The man in question seemed to be traveling with three women. The women were also asked by flight attendants to remain seated. In the video, one of the women can be seen attempting hit several other passengers.
Apparently, the argument turned physical upon landing when three male passengers started yelling racist and homophobic slurs at the three women. According to other passengers, the woman seen in the video was physically attacked by one of the other men before she retaliated.
In the end, the police were forced to subdue the woman by using a taser. She was then escorted from the plane.
Dormirá en prisión la turista que agredió a un civil y varios agentes de la policía en medio de una trifulca en avión de Spirit cuando llegaba a la Isla. La joven de 24 años se le fijó una fianza de 150 mil dólares la cual no prestó. @TelenoticiasPR pic.twitter.com/ZOKRaRe7Gl
— Marjorie Ramírez (@marjramirez) October 27, 2020
Mandatory face mask policies
This is not the first time a fight has broken out on planes because of passengers refusing to wear masks. A KLM flight to Ibiza resulted in two passengers spending time in jail. Other passengers have refused on Delta Air Lines and American Airlines flights. The more masks are being required, the more incidences we see of people refusing to wear them.
Wearing a mask while flying has now become the norm. The problem is, airlines often don’t have the power to enforce regulations. Some airlines are using threats such as offloading passengers who refuse to cover their faces, returning to the point of origin, and banning passengers from traveling in the future as ways to encourage face masks. Despite these efforts, incidences like this one are becoming more common, and this probably won’t be the last.
Spirit Airlines had not responded to a request for comments at the time of publication.
What do you think of the Spirit Airlines incident? Do you think we will see more incidences like this? Let us know in the comments.