O.C. man charged after allegedly punching attendant on flight from Mexico to LAX

An Orange County man has been arrested and charged by federal authorities after a video confirmed him allegedly punching a flight attendant behind the pinnacle throughout a flight Wednesday from Mexico to Los Angeles Worldwide Airport, in keeping with prosecutors.

Alexander Tung Cuu Le, 33, of Westminster, has been charged with one depend of interference with flight crew members and attendants, the U.S. legal professional’s workplace for the Central District of California mentioned in a information launch Thursday.

Le was flying from San José del Cabo to LAX on Wednesday when he obtained out of his seat whereas flight attendants had been in the course of handing out meals and drinks on American Airways flight 377, prosecutors mentioned. Le grabbed a flight attendant by the shoulder from behind and requested for espresso, then he grabbed the flight attendant by each shoulders, prosecutors mentioned. The flight attendant pulled away and put up a defensive posture, and Le then walked to the entrance of the airplane, in keeping with court docket paperwork.

He loitered close to the first-class cabin and sat in an empty aisle close to the wall dividing the 2 sides of the aircraft. One other flight attendant requested Le to return to his seat, however he refused and allegedly assumed a preventing stance and closed each of his palms right into a fist. The flight attendant took this as a menace, prosecutors mentioned.

Le swung his arm on the flight attendant and missed, and that’s when the flight attendant circled to report Le’s actions to the pilot, in keeping with prosecutors. Whereas their again was turned, Le rushed towards the flight attendant and punched him behind the pinnacle, authorities mentioned. A number of passengers witnessed the assault, and one particular person recorded the incident.

Le ran to the again of the aircraft after the incident and several other passengers cornered him close to an exit row. He was then moved to a different row over security issues and his palms and legs had been handcuffed. Flight attendants restrained him additional with seatbelt extenders as a result of he continued to unbuckle his seatbelt, in keeping with prosecutors.

The flight was met by regulation enforcement when it arrived at LAX, American Airways mentioned in a press release.

“Acts of violence against our team members are not tolerated by American Airlines. The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with law enforcement in their investigation,” American Airways mentioned. “We thank our crew for their quick action and professionalism to ensure the safety of their fellow team members and customers on board. Our thoughts are with our injured flight attendant, and we are ensuring that they and their fellow crew members have the support they need at this time.”

Le is scheduled to look in federal court docket Thursday afternoon. If convicted, he may face a most sentence of 20 years in jail.