Footage of the incident at LAX shows the passenger punching an officer in the chest
A police officer was assaulted after he attempted to prevent a man from boarding a Delta Airlines flight that was due to go from LA to New York.
The thus-far unnamed passenger was stopped from boarding the plane at LAX, due to being “too intoxicated to fly”, airport official Rob Pedregon told Fox News.
Fox also quotes a Delta spokesperson, who explained that police were initially called to escort the belligerent passenger out of the terminal gate after he started to get verbally abusive.
Moments later, in an apparent moment of rage, the passenger allegedly assaulted an approaching police officer by punching him in the chest.
While pinned, he can be heard saying: “You ruined my whole f****** day, bro, now I have to travel a whole other day … it f****** sucks, dude.”
Video footage provided by TMZ shows the moment the man was tackled to the ground, where he can be seen screaming and wriggling to try and free himself. He was subsequently handcuffed by the officers, and removed from the airport in a wheelchair.
As per TMZ, the man has since been arrested for battery following the assault, while the flight itself, bound for JFK Airport, departed without any further delays.
The incident comes on the back of US Attorney General Merrick Garland’s recent message to prosecutors, whom he urged to step up enforcement of the law over the holiday season.
The Federal Aviation Administration has logged more than 5700 flight disturbances already this year.
The agency added that over 1000 investigations have been initiated as a result of these disturbances. The spike in such cases appears to be related to the issue of facemasks on planes – or a lack thereof.
Already in 2021, several viral videos have depicted clashes between aviation staff and unmasked passengers.