The incident occurred on American Airlines flight 1357, which took off from Miami late Saturday night and arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport around 2:14 a.m. Sunday

By Gabrielle Chung
May 04, 2021 06:46 PM
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AA plane
American Airlines plane
| Credit: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty

A woman allegedly attacked an American Airlines attendant during an overnight flight from Miami to New York, according to a criminal complaint.

The incident occurred on American Airlines flight 1357, which took off from Miami late Saturday night and arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport around 2:14 a.m. Sunday.

According to a criminal complaint filed in New York, a passenger identified as Chenasia Campbell left her seat during the flight and followed a flight attendant to the crew area, where she began allegedly yelling at the attendant for not picking up her trash.

Another flight attendant then tried to step in, at which point Campbell accused the intervening attendant of pushing her, the complaint said.

Campbell then struck the intervening flight attendant with a closed fist and pulled the attendant's hair, according to the complaint.

American Airlines plane
American Airlines plane
| Credit: Robert Alexander/Getty

After the two were separated, Campbell argued with another passenger before allegedly hitting the flight attendant again, telling the attendant that "cops aren't going to do anything to me," the complaint said.

According to the complaint, Campbell also allegedly tried to remove the flight attendant's clothes at some point in the scuffle.

The crew's request for the captain to land the plane was denied, but an off-duty New York City Police Department officer on the plane was able to intervene and place Campbell in hand restraints until she was taken into custody at the airport, the complaint said.

The flight attendant sustained several injuries — including a swollen hand and strained neck — but denied medical assistance, according to the complaint.

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In a statement to PEOPLE, an American airlines spokesperson said that the passenger involved in the incident had "refused to comply with the federal face mask requirement" and "assaulted a crew member while in flight."

"Violence of any kind is not tolerated by American," the statement read. "We thank our crew members and law enforcement for their quick action, both on board and at the airport, to ensure the safety of our customers and crew members." 

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Campbell made a virtual appearance in court on federal charges of interfering with a flight crew, where she was ordered released on a $15,000 bond with travel restrictions imposed, NBC New York reported.

Campbell's defense attorney, James Darrow of the Brooklyn Federal Public Defenders Office, declined to comment when reached PEOPLE. It is not clear if Campbell has entered a plea at this time.