American Airlines Passengers Withstand 20 Years in Prison Over Alleged Assault

Two ladies folk had been charged with assault in connection with an incident that allegedly forced an American Airlines flight to divert to Arizona.

Kelly Pichardo and Leeza S. Rodriguez, each and every from the Bronx condominium of Unusual York, are accused of interfering with a flight crew member and uncomplicated assault for the duration of a flight from Dallas to Los Angeles in February.

Pichardo, 31, looked in court nearly on Wednesday and has pleaded now now not guilty to the costs.

Rodriguez, 30, is scheduled to look in court next week and has yet to enter a plea.

After the flight on February 24, The Arizona Republic reported that the two ladies folk had been accused of the utilization of racist slurs.

A male passenger is asserted to comprise requested the pair to forestall the utilization of the language, at which point Pichardo became upset and allegedly spat at him.

The man then started recording the stumble upon on his cell phone, at which point Rodriguez is supposed to comprise struck his hand to forestall him from filming.

Prosecutors comprise additionally alleged that the ladies folk “interfered with the capability of the flight crew to manufacture their tasks” by assaulting a crew member.

They order that “Pichardo’s and Rodriguez’s actions compelled the flight crew to habits an unscheduled touchdown in Phoenix.”

If learned guilty of interfering with a flight crew member, the pair face a most penalty of 20 years in penal complex and a $250,000 magnificent. The price of uncomplicated assault carries a penalty of six months in penal complex and a $5,000 magnificent.

The U.S. Attorney’s Set aside of industrial for the District of Arizona stated in a observation: “It’s a violation of federal regulations on an aircraft within the actual aircraft jurisdiction of the United States to interfere with flight crew participants within the performance of their tasks or to minimize their capability to manufacture these tasks by assault or intimidation.”

After the two ladies folk disembarked in Phoenix, the flight persevered to Los Angeles and arrived without additional incident.

In a February observation to The Arizona Republic, Derek Partitions, a spokesperson for American Airlines, stated the passengers’ behavior used to be “anxious and unacceptable,” including that the two ladies folk had been positioned on the firm’s “internal refuse listing pending additional investigation.”

“We proceed to look at this incident and are working straight away with impacted customers to originate sure their successfully-being,” Partitions added. “We thank our crew participants for their professionalism in managing a fancy discipline.”

The incident comes as the Federal Aviation Administration experiences a spirited lengthen in conditions of unruly passengers on U.S. airlines. From January 1 to July 20 this one year, there had been 3,509 experiences of unruly behavior. Of these incidents, 581 comprise resulted in investigations by the company—extra than three events the selection of FAA investigations launched for the total one year of 2020, which used to be supreme 183.

Newsweek has contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Set aside of industrial for the District of Arizona for added commentary.

american airlines fight
File photo of a Boeing 737-A23 operated by American Airlines, taking off from JFK airport in Unusual York on August 24, 2019. The FAA says experiences of unruly passengers on flights are rising sharply.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Photos

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