Man Charged With Sucker-Punching Flight Attendant

NBC News reports:

A California man who was captured on video punching an American Airlines flight attendant in the back of the head on a flight from Mexico to Los Angeles has been arrested, federal prosecutors said.

Alexander Tung Cuu Le, 33, of Westminster, was charged Thursday with one count of interference with flight crew members and attendants, a crime that carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

The charges come after the FBI said it had detained an American Airlines passenger on suspicion of interfering with a flight crew, an incident that unfolded during a flight from San José del Cabo, Mexico, to Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The New York Times reports:

The episode on Flight 377 began about 20 minutes after takeoff on Wednesday when Mr. Le got up from his seat as flight attendants provided food and beverage service, according to an affidavit from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Le grabbed a flight attendant’s left shoulder from behind and asked for coffee, the affidavit states. Then, he grabbed both of the attendant’s shoulders from behind, causing the flight attendant, who is not named, to step back and “put up a defensive posture,” the affidavit states.

Mr. Le was later moved to a different row, and his hands and legs were cuffed, the Justice Department said. Flight attendants had to restrain him to his seat with seatbelt extenders because he kept unbuckling his seatbelt, the affidavit states.