Woman Gets 15 Months in Prison for Punching Flight Attendant in the Face

A California lady who repeatedly punched a Southwest Airways flight attendant final 12 months, bloodying her face and chipping three of her enamel, was sentenced on Friday to fifteen months in federal jail, prosecutors stated.

The girl, Vyvianna M. Quinonez, 29, of Sacramento, may even should pay almost $26,000 in restitution and a $7,500 superb, in keeping with the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Southern District of California. A video of the assault, which occurred in Could 2021, was extensively considered on social media.

Decide Todd W. Robinson of United States District Court docket additionally ordered Ms. Quinonez to be on supervised launch for 3 years after finishing her sentence, throughout which she might be barred from flying on any business plane.

The assault got here amid a surge of unruly and violent conduct by passengers who shoved, struck and yelled at flight attendants. Inside days of the assault, two main airways, American and Southwest, postponed plans to start serving alcohol once more on flights, in an effort to cease the conduct. Each airways have since resumed alcohol gross sales.

“Violence on plane endangers the lives of all onboard,” Randy Grossman, the U.S. lawyer for the Southern District of California, stated in an announcement on Friday. “Assaults on flight crew members, who carry out very important jobs to make sure passenger security, is not going to be tolerated.”

A lawyer for Ms. Quinonez, who pleaded responsible in December in reference to the assault, couldn’t instantly be reached for remark late Friday.

In a letter filed with the courtroom on Could 20, Ms. Quinonez apologized for assaulting the flight attendant. She stated she had been depressed and humiliated due to the destructive consideration. The expertise, she stated, “modified me profoundly.”

On Could 23, 2021, close to the top of a flight from Sacramento to San Diego, a flight attendant requested Ms. Quinonez to buckle her seatbelt, put up her tray desk and “put on her face masks correctly,” prosecutors stated.

Ms. Quinonez used her telephone to movie the flight attendant and pushed the lady, prosecutors stated. The assault escalated from there, as captured on video by one other passenger.

Ms. Quinonez, who was sitting in an aisle seat, stood up and punched the attendant within the face a number of occasions, in keeping with the video. She additionally grabbed her hair earlier than the lady was capable of transfer again up the aisle. A number of passengers grabbed at Ms. Quinonez’s garments to attempt to cease her.

Prosecutors stated the flight attendant, who was not named in courtroom paperwork, was taken to a hospital with accidents that included a swollen eye, a bruised arm and a lower beneath her eye that needed to be stitched. They stated she additionally had three chipped enamel, two of which had to get replaced with crowns.

In a letter dated Could 18 and addressed to Decide Robinson, a Southwest consultant stated that the corporate wished the sentence to function a deterrent to unruly and violent conduct. The letter stated that the corporate’s govt staff had heard from “numerous flight attendants” who felt beneath assault throughout a pandemic that pushed worry round journey to an all-time excessive.

“What occurred on Flight 700 was completely horrific,” wrote Sonya Lacore, a vice chairman at Southwest. “In my 20+ 12 months profession at Southwest, I’ve by no means seen such an inexcusable, violent assault of a flight attendant by a passenger. Even worse, the incident was captured on video and forged throughout tv and media channels.”

“The video of the assault nonetheless sickens me,” she added.

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