A man reportedly punched a deaf pregnant woman and her service dog on a flight because he thought the dog “took up more space than it deserved.”
The altercation took place on a Frontier Airlines flight from Colorado Springs to Orlando International Airport. Hazel Ramirez, 21, who is 20 weeks pregnant, said her service dog was sleeping during the entire flight.
However, as the plane descended, the Great Dane woke up and began stretching. Ramirez was travelling with her 30-year-olf fiancé Matthew Silvay, who is also deaf and two daughters.
A fellow passenger, Petrini Manley, at first complained how she is allergic to dogs. When the plane landed the Great Dane began stretching, Petrini’s husband, Timothy Manley then got up from his seat and punched the dog with a closed fist.
As a result, the dog yelped and hid under the seat. The action outraged the owners and the altercation prompted the cabin crew to call law enforcement authorities.
However, before they arrived, Timothy punched Ramirez right in the stomach. Silvay then tackled him so he couldn’t escape.
None of those involved in the incident wanted to get medical assistance and they were later questioned by responding officers. The incident took place during a flight which is why it was turned over to the F.B.I. and is now being investigated.
Ramirez said she wants to press charges against the man and she will also testify in court if need be.
“Unfortunately the man [was] determined to leave so he ran and punched my belly then pushed my two daughters, they fell and cried so hard,” she said.
However, Petrini said the entire incident took place because of a misunderstanding and said her husband hit the dog by mistake.
In wake of the incident, a Frontier spokesman said, “The safety and security of our passengers is our top priority at Frontier. Upon deplaning Flight 1752 from Colorado Springs to Orlando, there was a confrontation between passengers. Police were immediately notified to aid in de-escalating the situation.”
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters