An irate passenger aboard an American Airlines flight was captured being escorted off the plane after allegedly punching a flight attendant.
American Airlines flight 1497 from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Montana on Wednesday was diverted mid-trip due to an unruly passenger.
American Airlines confirmed to Fox News Digital that the plane was forced to divert to Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Texas after Keith Edward Fagiana repeatedly punched a flight attendant.
The FAA confirmed in a statement to Fox News Digital that a “passenger disturbance” caused the Boeing 737 to make the early landing.
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J.P. Gallagher, an elected official from Montana, told FOX 4 that his wife alerted him to the enraged voyager.
“My wife kind of started hitting me and saying, you know, getting me to pay attention that something was happening,” Gallagher said. “There was a drink cart between us and the incident. So I couldn’t see a lot of what was going on, but I could hear some yelling and some, you know, cussing and, you know, the flight attendant saying, stop it.”
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According to the criminal complaint, the incident began after another passenger complained that Fagiana was kicking his chair.
After a flight attendant became involved, Fagiana allegedly became enraged and began punching the American Airlines employee in the stomach.
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The out-of-control passenger allegedly punched the flight attendant three times before passengers and other flight attendants were able to restrain Fagiana in zip tie handcuffs.
Gallagher said that he was most concerned that Fagiana had a weapon.
“I was just paying attention to make sure that I didn’t see or hear anything about a weapon. You know, that was probably the most concerning thing,” Gallagher told the local outlet.
The flight was diverted to Amarillo, where the FBI and local police were waiting.
Video showed local law enforcement removing Fagiana from the plane.
Authorities told FOX 4 that after they removed Fagiana, he, “…complained to officers the flex cuffs were hurting him,” and “while changing out handcuffs, Fagiana kicked one of the Amarillo Airport Police officers in the groin area and spit on escorting officers.”
Fagiana allegedly told the FBI he did not remember anything that happened on the flight because he had been drinking Captain Morgan rum at bars in Las Vegas beforehand.
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In a statement, American Airlines confirmed no one was injured during the incident, but said acts of violence are not tolerated.
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The Federal Aviation Administration said that airlines reported 45 attacks by passengers on flight attendants last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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