NEW YORK CITY — An irate passenger nearly grounded a flight from Miami to JFK Airport after she tried to pull up or rip off a flight attendant’s dress in a midair attack, authorities said.
Chenasia I. Campbell faces numerous federal charges after the Sunday incident aboard an American Airlines plane, a criminal complaint states.
The complaint details a wild series of events that began halfway through the flight, when Campbell left her seat and began yelling at a flight attendant for not picking up her garbage, authorities said. Another flight attendant — identified as “the Victim” on a criminal complaint — tried to separate the two, only to be accused of pushing Campbell.
“The defendant then struck the Victim with closed fists and pulled the Victim’s hair,” the complaint states.
The pair were separated, and Campbell — while walking toward the plane’s back lavatory — began arguing with another passenger, the complaint states. Campbell then walked back to the plane’s crew area and began shouting obscenities at the flight attendant, according to the complaint.
“The defendant stated to the Victim that the ‘cops aren’t going to do anything to me,’ and then struck the Victim with closed fists, causing the two of them to fall to the floor,” the complaint states. “At some point during the altercation, the defendant attempted to pull up or remove the Victim’s dress.”
The flight attendant crew requested that the captain land the plane, but this was denied.
The violence detailed by the complaint ended when an off-duty NYPD officer on the flight restrained Campbell with handcuffs, it states.
Campbell was taken into custody when the plane landed, the complaint states.
The attack left the flight attendant with scrapes on her arm and cheek, bruises on her forehead and leg, swollen hands from defending herself and a strained neck from being pulled to the floor, according to the complaint. She received a medical evaluation at JFK and otherwise refused further help, the complaint states.
“Due to her injuries, the Victim’s ability to perform her duties for the remainder of the flight was lessened,” the complaint states.
Campbell was expected to make a court appearance Monday on requested charges of knowingly and intentionally assault and intimidate a flight attendant of the aircraft, interfering with the performance of the duties of a flight attendant and lessening the ability of a flight attendant to perform those duties, according to the complaint.