A man on American Airlines flight 377, which took off Wednesday from the Los Cabos International airport en route to LAX, assaulted a flight attendant mid-flight. The man, who has been identified as Alexander Tung Cuu Le, of Westminster, California, apparently got in a verbal argument with the American Airlines flight attendant while seemingly intoxicated. When the flight attendant turned around to continue his duties the passenger ran up to him from behind and punched him in the back of the head.
According to the passenger on board that shot the video and sent it to local news stations in Los Angeles, he overheard the argument between the passenger and the flight attendant. The discussion presumably ended with the flight attendant questioning the passenger twice, saying, “Are you threatening me?”. The flight attendant looked to stop the situation from escalating further by removing himself from the discussion. Things must have been pretty heated at that point, though, that’s why the passenger witnessing the incident decided to record the argument. Doing so just in time to catch Tung Cuu Le’s assault on the flight attendant.
Alexander Tung Cuu Le was then subdued by other flight attendants and passengers on board. He was tied down to his seat with expander seat belts. That part of the incident does not show up on the video. When the plane landed at LAX, the man was quickly taken into custody at the gate by Los Angeles Airport Police and members of the FBI. Since the incident occurred in the air, this man is expected to be charged with a federal offense.
The Consequences Of The Assault
As previously stated, Alexander Tung Cuu Le was taken into federal custody upon arrival at LAX. The man was set to appear in court for the first time this Thursday. The first punishment that he will face for his actions is a lifetime ban from American Airlines flights. That may be the softest punishment he’s looking at, though. Alexander Tung Cuu Le could be facing up to 20 years in federal prison if found guilty of the charges against him. American Airlines issued a statement acknowledging that an incident took place on a flight from the Cabo airport to LAX. Part of the official statement mentions,
“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.”
The company would go on to thank their crew members for ensuring the safety of the other passengers on board while sharing that their thoughts and prayers are with their injured flight attendant. At the time of writing, American Airlines has not issued an update on the health status of their flight attendant. It’s believed that the injuries sustained by the flight are not severe.
The Flight Attendants Union Vowed To Ensure That The Man Faces “Prosecution to the Fullest Extent of the Law”
The assault also came to the attention of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents most of the flight attendants that work on American Airlines flights. They also issued a statement in which they called the incident dangerous and even “life-threatening” for the flight attendants involved.
The organization called for an end to violent behavior on flights, which seems to be a real issue. In 2021 a year in which aviation hadn’t fully recovered from the pandemic the Federal Aviation Administration recorded 5,981 separate reports of “unruly passengers” on flights within their jurisdiction. Just like American Airlines, the flight attendants union also vowed to “Do all possible to ensure that the passenger faces prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”