Orange County Man Sucker-Punches Attendant on LAX Flight

Yet another unruly passenger apparently let their fists do the flying in the unfriendly skies this week when he couldn’t get a coffee

Road rage, so popular in Southern California, has once again morphed into sky rage. The most recent incident of Fight Club flight edition happened this week, as an Orange County man exploded in an act that’s the opposite of anger management, and punched a flight attendant in the back of the head.

ABC7 has shared the rather surreal in flight video taken by another passenger on its Instagram page.

According to a Thursday press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Westminster resident Alexander Tung Cuu Le, 33, was aboard American Airlines Flight 377 from Cabo San Lucas to LAX when, 20 minutes after takeoff, he allegedly got out of his coach seat to request a cup of coffee from a working flight attendant (female) in the midst of beverage service. Other passengers say they observed him grabbing the flight attendant’s shoulders from behind—a total no-no—then loitering near the first class cabin, actually taking an open aisle seat there.

One passenger positioned near him in first class told ABC7 that Le whispered to him across the aisle, “There are ten killers on this plane,” though the witness admitted it was difficult to hear him.

When Le tried to use the first class restroom, another flight attendant, this one male, requested he go back to his coach seat, at which point the Department of Justice says, Le “allegedly stood up and assumed a fighting stance towards the flight attendant by making closed fists with both of his hands, which the flight attendant interpreted as a threat.”

The statement continues, “Around this time, Le allegedly swung his arm at the flight attendant and missed. The flight attendant decided to report Le’s behavior to the pilot, turned away from Le and walked towards the front of the airplane. At this time, Le rushed toward the flight attendant and punched him in the back of the head, which was witnessed by several passengers, including one who filmed the attack, according to the affidavit.”

You can hear passengers gasp on the video, taken by one of the more quick-thinking fliers.

Passengers and crew were able to subdue Le, ultimately strapping him down with cuffs, seatbelts and seat belt extenders in an example of old-fashioned Sky Law.

Le is scheduled to appear in court in L.A. Thursday. His charges? One count of interference with flight crew members and attendants, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. That charge proffers up to twenty years in federal prison.

In a statement of its own Thursday, American Airlines announced, “The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with law enforcement in their investigation.”

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