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Man accused of assaulting flight attendant on American Airlines plane had to be restrained by other passengers and handcuffed to a seat


Alexander Tung Cuu Le was charged with one count of interference with flight crew members and attendants.Barrie Livingstone

  • On Wednesday, passengers helped the crew hold a 33-year-old man on an American Airlines flight.

  • Alexander Tung Cuu Le, 33, has been charged with one count of interference with flight crew members.

  • He was permanently banned from flying with the airline.

Passengers on an American Airlines plane helped cabin crew restrain a man after he allegedly punched a flight attendant in the back of the head on Wednesday, officials said.

A Department of Justice press release revealed that passengers on the flight to Los Angeles airport helped apprehend Alexander Tung Cuu Le after he was seen punching the flight attendant.

An FBI affidavit said Le was then moved to another row for security reasons and had his hands and legs cuffed. Le continually unbuckled his seat belt, causing the crew members to restrain him further with seat belt extenders.

The 33-year-old man from Westminster in Orange County, Calif., was arrested upon landing at LAX and taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigation because the incident took place in the air .

Le was charged with one count of interfering with flight crew members and attendants, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, the DoJ said.

He appeared in Los Angeles court on Thursday, but the case was adjourned until Monday morning for a detention hearing and he remains in custody, a DoJ spokesperson told Insider.

According to the DoJ statement, Le allegedly began acting erratically shortly after leaving Los Cabos, Mexico, straying from his seat and making gestures towards the crew who were involved as threats of violence.

After assaulting the flight attendant, Le fled to the rear of the plane where he was apprehended by several passengers near an exit row, the DoJ said.

The FBI affidavit said the flight attendant seen being punched by Le was unable to perform his normal duties and was taken to hospital after the flight landed.

“Furthermore, the crew of AA 377 had to focus on restraining Le, which interfered with their duties and reduced their ability to provide service to over 100 passengers,” he said. .

Even after Le was restrained, the crew were still concerned about his behavior. A stewardess “was shaking so badly she found it difficult to perform her duties” and said the flight was “the longest hour and 58 minutes of my life”, according to the affidavit.

American Airlines has banned Le from its flights.

“The person involved in this incident will never be permitted to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with law enforcement in their investigation,” AA said in a statement Thursday.

American Airlines did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for additional comment on the incident.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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