A Southwest Airlines employee became the latest victim of an attack from a passenger.
In a statement obtained by People from the Dallas Police Department, Arielle Jean Jackson was arrested at the Dallas Love Field Airport on Saturday after she allegedly punched an unnamed operations agent in the head. What led to the violent interaction? Well, the 32-year-old woman was reportedly boarding a flight at around 12:30 pm when she started a “verbal altercation” with one flight attendant at the back of the airplane. It is unclear what they were arguing about at this time.
When the person asked her to leave, authorities claim Jackson engaged in another argument with the operations agent. That’s when things took a turn. As she was exiting the front of the plane, the woman suddenly struck the employee in the head with a closed fist. What the actual f**k?!
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Police at the airport immediately arrested Jackson for aggravated assault, People reported. Meanwhile, the victim was taken to the hospital in stable condition. Southwest Airlines spokesperson Chris Mainz told the publication that the agent was released that same day and is “at home resting” before adding:
“Our entire Southwest Family is wishing her a speedy and full recovery as we send our thoughts, prayers, and love to her. Southwest Airlines maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of harassment or assault and fully support our Employee as we cooperate with local authorities regarding this unacceptable incident.”
As we’ve previously reported, incidents of verbal and physical abuse directed at staff members have increased since the start of the pandemic. As of November 9, the Federal Aviation Administration reportedly found that there have been 5,111 reports of “unruly” passengers in 2021 — with 3,710 of those incidents being mask-related. The numbers don’t even shock us at this, given the fact that we’ve seen time and time again how angry and hostile some anti-maskers can get.
And what’s even sadder is that this is not the first time we’ve even reported on a passenger attacking a plane’s employee. Just last month, a flight attendant had been brutally punched in the face by someone after she accidentally bumped into them while moving down the aisle of the cabin. It resulted in the poor woman having the bones in her face broken.
This cannot keep happening. We’re wishing the operations agent a speedy recovery during this time.
[Image via MEGA/WENN]