Southwest flight attendant loses teeth in passenger attack
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Federal charges were filed Wednesday against a passenger accused of striking a Southwest Airlines flight attendant in the face during a May flight to San Diego.
The passenger, Vyvianna Quinonez, allegedly punched and grabbed the hair of the female flight attendant, who lost two teeth and suffered other injuries to her face on the May 23 flight from Sacramento, prosecutors said in court documents.
Quinonez was escorted off the plane at San Diego International Airport and arrested for battery causing serious bodily injury in connection with the incident, according to the San Diego Harbor Police Department.
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On Wednesday, she was charged with assault in federal court, along with interfering with a flight crew.
An affidavit filed in San Diego federal court stated the flight attendant asked Quinonez to fasten her seat belt, stow her tray table, and wear her face mask properly as the plane began its final descent.
But Quinonez, from the Sacramento area, allegedly failed to comply and pushed the attendant, City News Service reported. She later stood up in her seat and allegedly punched the attendant in the face and head with a closed fist, according to the affidavit.
The attendant suffered three chipped teeth, including two that needed to be replaced with crowns, the affidavit said. She also suffered a bruised left eye, a cut under her eye requiring four stitches, and bruising on her arm.
At the time, Southwest told Fox News the airline had been informed that the passenger had "repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing."
Images also circulated on Twitter from user MikuniTaro which appeared to show blood on the flight attendant's face.