US: Angry passenger punches United Airlines flight attendant, attempts to jump out of emergency exit
In what comes as a bizarre incident, a passenger aboard a Unite Airlines flight had to be held back after he attempted to jump out the place, following an altercation where he allegedly punched a flight attendant.
The incident transpired on a flight bound to Houston, Texas from San Francisco earlier this week, just when the plane was about to take off, according to US media reports.
Naya Jimenez, one of the passengers on the flight captured the entire incident on her camera which is now going viral on social media platforms. She claimed that the man became embittered and violent after she asked him and his wife to move out of her assigned seat.
“They had to bring in a gate attendant to try to talk to both of them. Then, he began slurring his speech a little bit,” Jimenez was quoted as saying by ABC7.
Afterwards, the out-of-control passenger proceeded to physically assault the flight attendant who was punched several times, as seen in the footage.
The situation took a turn for the worse when the disruptive traveller, headed towards the emergency exit and tried to jump out of the plane before takeoff.
"After he paused for a minute, he ran toward where the pilot was, where the emergency exit doors are, and attempted to open it. He successfully opened the emergency exit and was about to jump down," said Jimenez.
“The plane is elevated, so he would have jumped apparently two stories to the ground."
Fortunately enough, the flight crew rushed in and managed to pull back the irate passenger to safety. The 47-year-old unruly man was arrested by San Franciso police on charges related to battery and assault.
Meanwhile, United Airlines released a statement in the aftermath, calling the passenger's behaviour 'unacceptable', adding that he had been banned from future flights of the airline.
“On Sunday night, our team at San Francisco International Airport immediately contacted law enforcement officials after a customer became disruptive during boarding,” an airline spokesperson stated.
“We’re grateful to our team in San Francisco for their professionalism in this situation and for looking out for the safety of our customers and their fellow United employees.”