(KTXL) — San Diego resident Michelle Manner was sitting just two rows in front of a violent incident on a Southwest Airlines flight Sunday morning when she caught it on video.
Video shows passenger Vyvianna Quinonez punch the flight attendant before an unidentified man intervenes. But Manner says it was the flight attendant who provoked the incident.
“Vyvianna had said to her three times, that we could hear, ‘Get off of me. Quit touching me. Get your hands off of me,’” Manner said.
Manner says she was not able to record the first confrontation, which she says showed the flight attendant in the wrong. She says the flight attendant rudely told Quinonez and other family members to put on their face masks — which may have fallen beneath their noses.
“It was so unnecessary. In the first altercation, she had said that she was going to call the captain. And she should’ve just stayed there in her back cubby,” Manner said. “But she came back out screaming at them again.”
Once the plane landed, Quinonez was booked on suspicion of battery causing serious injury.
The encounter is part of a recent spike the Federal Aviation Administration is calling a “disturbing increase” in violent and disruptive behavior involving passengers and flight crews.
FOX40 contacted Quinonez’s mother, and she said the family is not ready to speak publicly about the incident. But she said her daughter was only defending herself.
And Manner agrees.
“The flight attendant continued to yell. And I mean she was yelling. We got to the point to, where we’re like, should we start videoing this?” Manner said. “She was very unprofessional. Very rude, about the way she handled anything.”