A Southwest Airlines agent was punched – and then had to be restrained by another employee – after a disruptive passenger was offloaded off of a flight that had just returned to the gate on Tuesday.
The customer, identified by police as Courtney Drummond, can be seen in video taken by an onlooker shouting and walking up to the counter – before whaling on the employee who hadn’t been a part of any earlier altercation.
Craziness breaks out in the Atlanta Airport! 🥴👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/XdjmG5ehrN
— Cyndi Burnham Schonefeld (@OffCyndisc) March 23, 2022
According to Atlanta police,
Drummond refused to comply with flight attendants as a Southwest flight was being taxied from the gate to the tarmac.
Police said Drummond was asked to leave the flight after the plane was forced to return to the gate due to his “aggressive behavior.”
The man was charged with batter, simple battery, and obstruction – typical multiple charges for essentially the same (egregious) offense) – and sent to Clayton County Jail with bond set at $10,000.
According to the airline,
Southwest Airlines has zero tolerance for any type of assault against our Employees or Customers. As a result of this inexcusable attack, the individual has been banned from flying with Southwest Airlines.
Southwest also expressed appreciation to the employees who protected the gate agent that was under attack as well as law enforcement’s response.
The incident is so off the rails that even the passenger’s grandmother is apologizing,
My heart goes out to everyone, the staff at Southwest — they are in my prayers. I’m sorry this happened and this was caused by him. He comes from a godly family. My husband is a pastor of a church here.
The family, she says, is “sorry” and “very hurt” by what the grandson did.