(Trends Wide) — A Southwest Airlines employee was transferred to a Dallas hospital on Saturday after being assaulted by a female passenger at Love Field Airport, according to the airline and the Dallas Police Department.
The passenger “verbally and physically assaulted” the operations agent shortly after she was asked to get off the flight she had just embarked from Dallas to La Guardia airport in New York, Southwest said in an email.
Dallas Police said in a statement that shortly after boarding, 32-year-old Arielle Jean Jackson had a verbal altercation with an operations agent in the back of the plane, and was then asked to exit the aircraft.
While leaving, Jackson had another verbal altercation with a second agent and struck her with a “clenched fist to the head,” according to the statement.
Jackson was charged with aggravated assault, according to Dallas police. Jail records show that she is being held on $ 10,000 bond. Trends Wide has not been able to identify an attorney for Jackson as of yet.
The employee was transferred to a local hospital and released Saturday night, according to the Southwest email. He is at home resting, the airline said.
“Southwest Airlines maintains a zero tolerance policy regarding any type of harassment or assault and fully supports our employee as we cooperate with local authorities regarding this unacceptable incident,” the email read.
The incident is one of the many verbal and physical attacks on flight personnel reported during the covid-19 pandemic. Flight crews have reported 5,114 unruly passenger incidents since the start of 2021, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. FAA data shows that more than 70% of incidents occurred over masks.
Incidents have ranged from yelling to spitting to physical altercations with airline personnel.
In May this year, a Southwest Airlines passenger who allegedly punched a flight attendant was fined more than $ 26,000, according to the FAA.
The agency announced earlier this month that it had fined 10 violent airline passengers totaling nearly $ 250,000.
Trends Wide’s Pete Muntean and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.