A female employee from the southwest was assaulted by a female passenger in the hospital
(CNN) – A Southwest Airlines employee was taken to a hospital in Dallas on Saturday after he was assaulted by a female passenger at Love Field Airport, according to the airline and the Dallas Police Department.
Southwest said in an email that the passenger “verbally and physically” assaulted the operations staff shortly after she asked to leave the flight she had just taken from Dallas to LaGuardia Airport in New York.
Shortly after boarding the plane, 32-year-old Ariel Jean Jackson had a fight with an operations agent in the back of the plane, and was then asked to get off the plane, Dallas Police said in a statement.
As he was leaving, Jackson had another altercation with a second agent and hit her “with a fist in the head,” according to the statement.
Dallas police said Jackson was charged with aggravated assault. Prison records show she is being held on a $10,000 bond. CNN has not been able to identify Jackson’s attorney yet.
The employee was taken to a local hospital and released Saturday night, according to an email to Southwest. The airline said he is at home resting.
“Southwest Airlines maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding any kind of harassment or assault and fully supports our employee as we cooperate with local authorities regarding this unacceptable incident,” the email read.
This incident is one of many verbal and physical attacks on aviation personnel reported during the COVID-19 pandemic. Flight crews have reported 5,114 runaway passenger accidents since the beginning of 2021, according to Federal Aviation Administration. FAA data shows that more than 70% of accidents occurred on masks.
Incidents ranged from screaming to spitting to physical altercations with airline employees.
In May this year, a Southwest Airlines passenger who allegedly punched a flight attendant was fined more than $26,000, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The agency announced earlier this month that it had imposed fines on 10 violent airline passengers totaling nearly $250,000.
CNN’s Pete Montaigne and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.