A Spirit Airlines official has been suspended after he was caught on camera punching a woman during an altercation at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) airport on Thursday.
The confrontation, which was caught on video, transpired on Thursday and began when a woman departed her plane after realizing there wasn’t a seat for her. She became uncooperative after the Spirit employee told her to wait in line for a gate agent. Witnesses said the woman then cut in front of others and continued to grow agitated. The argument began when the employee tried to take her boarding pass and there was a physical.
As the video shows, tensions escalated from there, as the employee can be heard shouting, “You have lost your mind. Don’t touch me ever in your life. You touched me first then you got in my face. Don’t ever invade my personal space.”
The woman then hurls the homophobic slur at the Spirit employee while telling him to, “get out of my face.” Another bystander attempts to diffuse the situation and break up the fight, but the woman swings at the employee’s face, which causes him to chase after her. They both fall to the ground and the employee strikes her from behind as they stand up.
“We are aware of this altercation,” Spirit Airlines later said in a statement on Twitter. “Our vendor at DFW has suspended the agent. Spirit Airlines does not tolerate violence of any kind, and we are working with local law enforcement to investigate this matter.”
We are aware of this altercation. Our vendor at DFW has suspended the agent. Spirit Airlines does not tolerate violence of any kind, and we are working with local law enforcement to investigate this matter.
— Spirit Airlines (@SpiritAirlines) August 12, 2022
Airport authorities were reportedly not present on the scene at the time of the altercation, and neither party has been formally charged with any crime, though KDFW later reported that police had determined the woman to be the initial aggressor. The woman has denied this and reportedly claimed she’s hired an attorney and said the employee was the aggressor, but that it just wasn’t captured on video.
However, Tomas Shannon said the employee merely lost his temper as a result of her aggression.
“She was verbally assaulting him, physically assaulting him, and he just snapped,” Shannon told KDFW. “How did we get here? Why do we think this is ok?”