A California woman who pleaded guilty to punching a Southwest Airlines flight attendant as a Sacramento to San Diego flight landed last year was sentenced Friday to 15 months in federal prison.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego said that Vyvianna M. Quinonez, 29, will also serve three years of probation when she’s released, the Sacramento Bee reported.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Quinonez was arrested when the plane pulled into the gate in San Diego on May 23, 2021, and charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and interfering with a flight crew. According to the Bee, she pleaded guilty in December to the lesser charge of interfering with a flight crew as part of her plea deal.
The charging document says that Quinonez wasn’t wearing her face mask properly, unbuckled her seat belt, and lowered her tray table and the plane made its final descent into San Diego -= all violations of federal rules and regulations. When the flight attendant asked her to remedy the situation, Quinonez began filming the flight attendant before pushing her as another passenger began filming the altercation.
Prosecutors said Quinonez admitted punching the flight attendant in the face with a closed fist and grabbing her hair. Other passengers tried to separate the two.
The flight attendant was taken to a hospital and treated. She had three chipped teeth, two of which needed crowns, along with a bruised and swollen eye and a cut beneath her eye that required stitches. Additionally, she had bruise in the shape of fingers on one arm.
“Violence on aircraft endangers the lives of all onboard,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman said in the news release. “Attacks on flight crew members, who perform vital jobs to ensure passenger safety, will not be tolerated. We will pursue criminal charges against those who violate the law both at the airport and aboard aircraft while in flight.”
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