The police said that a woman has been arrested after punching a Southwest Airlines employee in the head during boarding for a flight out of a Dallas airport. Arielle Jean Jackson, 32, was arrested Saturday afternoon at Love Field, Dallas police said. Police said Jackson has been charged with aggravated assault.
The incident happened during the boarding process for a flight from Dallas to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Southwest Airlines spokesman Chris Mainz said. Police said that Jackson first had a verbal altercation with an operations agent at the back of the plane and was asked to exit.
As Jackson was exiting, she had another verbal altercation with a second operations agent that turned physical, with Jackson striking the agent on the head with a closed fist. Mainz said the operations agent, a woman, was taken to a hospital and released Saturday night. Jackson was in Dallas County jail on Sunday on a $10,000 bond. Jail records did not list an attorney for her
The email said that Southwest Airlines maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of harassment or assault and fully support our employee as we cooperate with local authorities regarding this unacceptable incident.The incident is one among many verbal and physical attacks on flight staff reported during the Covid-19 pandemic. Flight crews have reported 5,114 unruly passenger incidents since the start of 2021, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. FAA data shows more than 70% of incidents were over masks.