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    HomeBusinessAmerican Airlines plane diverted after passenger punches flight attendant, court documents show

    American Airlines plane diverted after passenger punches flight attendant, court documents show

    Dazia Poland/TMX

    An American Airlines flight was diverted to a Texas airport after a passenger punched a flight attendant multiple times and assaulted at least one police officer, according to court documents.


    An American Airlines flight was diverted to a Texas airport mid-flight this week after a passenger punched a flight attendant multiple times and assaulted at least one police officer, according to court documents.

    The plane, which was headed to Bozeman, Montana, from Dallas, landed at an airport in Amarillo on Wednesday after the flight crew declared a Level 2 threat due to a physical assault, the criminal complaint filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Texas states, citing an affidavit from an FBI agent involved in the arrest.

    Keith Edward Fagiana, 61, was escorted off the plane – American Airlines flight 1497 – by police and charged with interference with a flight crew, the complaint said.

    The incident started when a passenger complained Fagiana was violently kicking their chair, court documents say. Fagiana then “yelled expletives” at a flight attendant who asked him not to kick the chair, the complaint says. He then punched the flight attendant in the stomach, the documents say.

    The flight attendant was punched three more times by Fagiana before other passengers helped to physically restrain him, the complaint said. The flight attendant used flex cuffs to restrain him and buckled him in a seat to wait for police upon landing, the documents state.

    Police entered the aircraft after it landed at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport and escorted Fagiana off the plane, documents say. He complained the flex cuffs were hurting him, so officers changed out the restraints with steel handcuffs.

    Randall County Sheriff’s Office

    Keith Edward Fagiana’s booking photo.

    “While changing out handcuffs, Fagiana kicked one of the Amarillo Airport Police Officers in the groin area and spit on escorting officers,” the documents say.

    During a police interview, Fagiana admitted to fighting with police officers after being removed from the aircraft because he didn’t want to be arrested, the complaint said.

    He also claimed he didn’t remember anything that happened on the flight and said he had drunk some “Captain Morgans” at different bars before the flight, documents say.

    The flight continued its trek and left the Amarillo airport shortly after, according to a statement from American Airlines.

    “Acts of violence are not tolerated by American Airlines and we are committed to working closely with law enforcement in their investigation,” the statement reads. 

    CNN was unable to determine if Fagiana has obtained legal representation as of Friday.

    CNN’s Sara Smart and Asher Moskowitz contributed to this report. 



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