WATCH: Texas man banned from United Airlines after punching employee

Man also tried to jump out of the plane, witness says

HOUSTON – A Texas man has been banned from United Airlines after they say he punched an employee during a flight from San Francisco to Houston earlier this week.

The man, from Montgomery County near Houston, had to be restrained as he also tried to jump out of the plane, witness Naya Jimenez told KTRK and KHOU.

The incident started before the flight departed San Francisco at around midnight on Monday.

Jimenez said she had asked the man’s wife and then the man to move out of her assigned seat.

“I’m not really a confrontational person so I sat at a seat that I found nearby and just kind of waited things out because I didn’t want to block anybody else from sitting in their seat,” she told KHOU.

Flight attendants approached Jimenez and asked about the situation, and she told them that the couple was sitting in her assigned seat. She said they refused to leave.

“They had to bring in a gate attendant to try to talk to both of them,” she told KTRK. “Then, he began slurring his speech a little bit, like, ‘Sir, why are you smiling at me?’ That’s the first thing he said.”

Jimenez started to record the situation, and her video, seen in the player above, shows the man repeatedly hitting an employee.

She added that he ran to an emergency exit, opened it, and almost jumped out but people pulled him back to safety.

“After he paused for a minute, he ran toward where the pilot was, where the emergency exit doors are, and attempted to open it. (He) successfully opened the emergency exit and was about to jump down,” she told KTRK. “The plane is elevated, so he would have jumped apparently two stories to the ground, and the flight attendants just kicked in, and everybody pulled him back to safety.”

The San Francisco International Airport contacted law enforcement and the man was cited for battery, KHOU reported. The investigation is ongoing.

Read also:

About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.