Passenger Sucker Punches American Airlines Flight Attendant

A recalcitrant passenger has been arrested for allegedly hitting a flight attendant with a suction cup on an American Airlines flight from San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, to Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Alexander Tung Cuu Le, 33, was arrested after the plane landed at LAX on suspicion of disrupting a flight. The FBI took over the investigation based on the incident that took place on air.

Video footage shared by a passenger on social media shows a flight attendant standing in the aisle asking a passenger in an orange shirt, “Are you threatening me?”

As the American Airlines employee walks away, the recalcitrant passenger appears to attack and hit the attendant from behind. An audible gasp could be heard from those nearby.


Before the incident, Le aggressively approached a flight attendant by grabbing his shoulder and demanding coffee, according to a CBS Los Angeles affidavit.

The reluctant passenger then proceeded to the front of the plane, where he lingered near the first class area and sat in an empty seat. When a flight attendant asked the passenger to return to his seat, Le allegedly refused and tried to hit the worker, but missed. He then attacked the flight attendant, as seen in the footage.

After reportedly meeting the American Airlines worker, the reluctant passenger went back to the front of the plane but was held back by other passengers.

Le was moved to another row while his arms and legs were bound. However, he kept unbuckling himself, resulting in attendants using seat belt extenders to restrain him.

American Airlines issued a statement regarding the attack:

American Airlines will not tolerate acts of violence against our team members. The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with us in the future and we will be working closely with law enforcement in their investigation.

Le was due to appear in court Thursday afternoon, CBS Los Angeles noted. The maximum sentence he faces if convicted on all charges is 20 years in prison.

This year, as of Tuesday, the FAA has received 1,973 reports of unruly passengers, initiated 680 investigations and initiated 468 cases of enforcement action.

Follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman. Passenger Sucker Punches American Airlines Flight Attendant

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