An American Airlines jet was diverted to a Texas airport after a passenger punched a flight attendant multiple times and assaulted at least one police officer, according to court documents.
An American Airlines jet was diverted to a Texas airport this week after a passenger allegedly punched a flight attendant multiple times and assaulted at least one police officer, according to court documents.
The plane, which was headed from Dallas to Bozeman, Montana, landed at the Amarillo airport on Wednesday after the flight attendant declared a Level 2 threat of physical assault, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District. Texas said, citing an affidavit from an FBI agent involved in the arrest.
Keith Edward Faziana, 61, of American Airlines Flight 1497, was escorted out by police and charged with interfering with the flight crew, according to the complaint.
According to court documents, the incident began when a passenger complained that Faziana was violently kicking a chair. Faziana then “hurled abusive language” at a flight attendant who asked her not to kick the chair, according to the complaint. The man then punched the flight attendant in the stomach, documents state.
According to the complaint, the flight attendant was punched three more times by Faziana before other passengers physically restrained her. Flight attendants restrained the man with flex cuffs and buckled him to his seat to await police upon landing, documents said.
After the plane landed at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, police entered the plane and escorted Faziana off the plane, according to the documents. He complained that the flex cuffs hurt, so officers replaced the restraints with steel handcuffs.
Randall County Sheriff’s Office
Keith Edward Faziana booking photo.
“While changing the handcuffs, Mr. Faziana kicked the Amarillo Airport Police Officer in the groin and spat on the escorting officer,” the document states.
According to the complaint, Faziana admitted during police questioning that he fought with officers after he was removed from the plane because he did not want to be arrested.
The suspect claimed to have no recollection of anything that happened on the plane and said he drank Captain Morgan at another bar before the flight, the documents said.
According to a statement from American Airlines, the flight continued flying and departed from Amarillo Airport shortly after.
“American Airlines does not condone acts of violence and is committed to working closely with law enforcement in any investigation,” the statement said.
CNN could not determine whether Faziana had legal representation as of Friday.
CNN’s Sarah Smart and Asher Moskowitz contributed to this report.