Vyvianna Quinonez: Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Attack Suspect Charged

vyvianna quinonez

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Vyvianna Quinonez is a woman accused in federal court of attacking a Southwest Airlines flight attendant so violently her teeth were chipped.

She was charged in the United States District court for the Southern District of California with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and interference with flight crew members and attendants. Both are felonies. Her full name is given as Vyvianna M. Quinonez, and she is from Sacramento, California.

You can read the federal complaint in full here. You can watch the viral video of the attack below. The charges were filed on September 1, 2021, although the incident occurred in May.

As a result of the assault, the flight attendant S.L. was taken to the hospital and suffered serious bodily injury. Her left eye was bruised and swollen, she sustained a cut under her left eye, requiring four stitches, she had a bruise in the shape of fingers on her right forearm, and three of her teeth were chipped, with two of them needing replacement by crowns.

Quinonez later claimed she “acted in self defense,” the complaint says

Here’s what you need to know:


The Attack Occurred on a Southwest Airlines Flight to San Diego


New video released: Altercation between passenger & Southwest flight attendant on plane to San DiegoVyvianna Quinonez, 28, was arrested Sunday morning and allegedly knocked out two of the flight attendant's teeth during the incident.2021-05-26T23:13:12Z

According to the complaint, on May 23, 2021, Southwest Airlines Flight 700 was in flight traveling from Sacramento International Airport to San Diego International Airport.

Quinonez is accused of assaulting a flight attendant known only as S.L. in the court documents, causing her to suffer serious bodily injury.

The complaint accuses Quinonez of “assaulting and intimidating a flight crew member and flight attendant of Southwest Airlines Flight 700,” saying she “interfered with the performance of the duties of the member and attendant.”

The probable cause statement says Quinonez boarded the flight and was seated in an aisle seat in the last row. The victim was a Southwest flight attendant working in the back of the airplane for the duration of the flight. At that time, federal rules and regulations required that airplane passengers over the age of 2 wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while flying. Passengers were also required to stow their tray tables and faster their seat belts in preparation for landing.

Susan Marie Stidham, who was a passenger on the flight, wrote on Facebook, the attack occurred, “simply because she was asked to put her seatbelt back on. I asked about the injured flight attendant on my return flight, and she reportedly has a broken nose, injured face, and broken teeth. Someone can identify the perp even though she is wearing a mask. Hoping that they will give her jail time and put her on the No Fly list.”


The Incident Started With a Push, the Complaint Says


Attendant Allegedly Attacked By Passenger On Southwest Flight From SacramentoA Southwest Airlines flight attendant was assaulted by a passenger and lost two teeth in the attack last weekend, according to a union president, who complained to the airline’s CEO about unruly passengers.2021-05-25T23:46:26Z

During the plane’s final descent, the complaint alleges that Quinonez unbuckled her seat belt and pulled down her tray table.

S.L. approached her and requested that she fasten her seat belt and stow her tray table, but the complaint says, “Quinonez did not comply.” The flight attendant also instructed Quinonez to wear her facemask properly and then returned to her jump seat for landing.

The complaint alleges that Quinonez began filming S.L. on her cell phone. S.L. again approached Quinonez who “pushed S.L.”

S.L. said, “You do not push a flight attendant,” or words to that effect.

Around that time, another passenger on the airplane began filming the interaction on her cellphone.

“Quinonez stood up and knowingly assaulted S.L. by intentionally punching S.L. in the face and head with a closed fist and grabbing S.L.’s hair,” the complaint alleges.

Several other passengers attempted to stop Quinonez by grabbing at her clothing and arm, and a male passenger sitting one row ahead of Quinonez in the middle seat across the aisle jumped in between Quinonez and S.L. and instructed Quinonez to sit down.

Quinonez Is From Antelope, California, and studied at Sierra College and California State University-Sacramento, according to her LinkedIn profile. She worked as a server at a Sacramento restaurant.


Passenger Misconduct Incidents Are a Problem


VideoVideo related to vyvianna quinonez: southwest airlines flight attendant attack suspect charged2021-09-04T10:35:12-04:00

According to NBC 7 San Diego, attacks against flight attendants are up.

“Unfortunately, this is just one of many occurrences,” said Lyn Montgomery, Local 556 President of the Transport Workers Union, to the television station.

Between April 8 and May 15, 2021, alone, there were 477 passenger misconduct incidents on Southwest planes, Montgomery told NBC 7.

“The passenger repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing,” said the spokesman for the airline, Chris Mainz, to the television station.

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