Off-duty cop on plane arrests woman who attacked flight attendant

An NYPD officer jumped into action and restrained the woman until the plane landed

By Madeleine Marr
The Miami Herald

MIAMI — Flight AA1357 out of Miami erupted into chaos late Saturday night when a passenger attacked two flight attendants while in the air.

According to a police report, a New York City woman later identified as Chenasia Campbell, reportedly flew into a rage because her garbage had not been disposed of before landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The 28-year-old New Yorker stormed to the crew area to confront the attendant about the issue, striking her and knocking the woman to the ground.

An AA spokeswoman told the Miami Herald that the tension initially started over mask wearing: "A customer who refused to comply with the federal face mask requirement assaulted a crew member while in flight," she wrote in an email Tuesday.

The victim's colleague, who attempted to break up the fight, also got caught in the fray, according to the police report.

Campbell, "screaming obscenities," then went after her, punching the AA employee with "closed fists," pulling her hair and even attempting to rip off her uniform.

"At some point during the altercation, the defendant attempted to pull up or remove the victim's dress," the complaint says.

An off-duty NYC police officer happened to be aboard and put restraints on the suspect until arrival. Campbell was taken into custody at JFK, charged with the federal offense of interfering with a flight crew.

"Upon information and belief, on or about May 2, 2021, within the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere, while on an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, the defendant did knowingly and intentionally assault and intimidate a flight attendant of the aircraft, interfere with the performance of the duties of the flight attendant, and lessen the ability of the flight attendant to perform those duties." says the document.

Campbell appeared in court in Brooklyn, New York, on Monday and was released on $15,000 bond.

"Violence of any kind is not tolerated by American," concluded the AA spokeswoman. "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."

Campbell is no longer welcome to fly with the airline, for now.

"The customer involved in this incident has been placed on our internal refuse list pending further investigation."

(c)2021 Miami Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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