A woman from California who assaulted a Southwest Airlines flight attendant back in May now faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, WFLA reports.
This Wednesday, Vyvianna M. Quinonez, 28, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of interference with flight crew members and attendants. The incident took place on May 23 when Quinonez was cited for not wearing her mask properly while boarding the flight. She also violated FAA regulations by unbuckling her belt and pulling down her tray table as the plane descended. When she was asked by a flight attendant to follow the rules, Quinonez responded by pushing the flight attendant.
In the videos taken by passengers that were later shared online, Quinonez can be seen punching the flight attendant in the face and pulling her hair. After a passenger intervened, the flight attendant can be seen with blood on her face. The flight attendant was later treated at a hospital for a swollen eye and a cut that required three stitches. Quinonez also chipped three of the flight attendant’s teeth, two of which needed replacing.
JUST IN: The woman who punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant in May has been officially charged in federal court with two felonies, including assault and interfering with a flight crew. Vyvianna Quinonez now faces at least 20 years in prison. pic.twitter.com/ghUWkBTGMm
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) September 2, 2021
“The flight attendant who was assaulted was simply doing her job to ensure the safety of all passengers aboard the plane,” said Randy Grossman, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. “It’s inexcusable for anyone to use violence on an airplane for any reason, particularly toward a flight attendant who is there to keep all the passengers safe. We are not going to tolerate violence or interference with the flight crew, and we will pursue criminal charges against those who break the law.”
Quinonez will be sentenced in March of next year.