NEW YORK. An American Airlines flight from New York to California was diverted to Denver after a passenger attacked a flight attendant, authorities said.
Flight 976 was heading Wednesday from John F. Kennedy International Airport to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana when it landed at Denver International Airport and taxiing safely to the gate.
According to the airline, the passenger was removed and the flight continued to California. The flight attendant was reportedly taken to hospital, but details of her condition were not immediately disclosed.
“We are outraged by reports of what was happening on board. Violence against our team members is unacceptable for American Airlines, ”the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said in a statement.
The airline said that the passenger would be banned from flying on American Airlines flights, but “we will not be satisfied until he is fully prosecuted.” This behavior must stop. “
Mackenzie Rose, another passenger on the flight, told CBS in Los Angeles that the flight attendant was attacked around mid-flight as the plane flew over Ohio.
“I understand that he actually hit her twice,” Rose said after landing in Santa Ana. “I actually saw her walking down the aisle again. Her mask was splattered with blood. “
The attack comes amid a surge in unruly airline passengers this year, who sometimes resort to violence.
The FBI and the US Attorney’s Office in Colorado said they are investigating. No arrests were made as of Thursday, according to FBI spokesman Courtney Bernal.
“The US Attorney’s Office takes seriously all matters related to potential threats to the safety of flights, crew or passengers of airlines,” the office said in a statement.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it would also investigate.