Passenger who broke flight attendant’s teeth in mask fight sentenced to 15 months

A California woman who admitted punching a Southwest Airlines flight attendant after being asked to wear a mask and fasten her seatbelt was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Friday and ordered to pay more than $30,000 in fines and restitution, officials said.

Vyvianna Quinonez, 29, will remain on probation for three years and will take anger management classes for the May 23, 2021 assault aboard a flight from Sacramento to San Diego, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Southern District of California in a statement.

Quinonez will also be prohibited from flying on supervised commercial aircraft, the prosecutor’s office said.

Quinonez pleaded guilty in December to one count of interfering with flight crew members and attendants, the statement said.

She admitted to assaulting the flight attendant, who broke two teeth and needed three stitches, after the worker told her to put on her seatbelt, put away her tablet and wear your mask properly during the flight’s final descent, according to the statement.

Quinonez’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The sanction came after a crackdown on what federal officials described as an increase in reports of unruly and dangerous behavior in the skies, largely due to masking.

The surge has since subsided, according to FAA data, although the number of reports reviewed by the department remains above pre-pandemic levels.

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