Flight attendant accused of attacking own crew on a flight

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An American Airlines flight attendant faces federal charges after she began attacking fellow crew members and U.S. marshals on both legs of an international flight from Charlotte.

Joanne Snow is charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants, and assault on an officer or employee of the United States, according to court documents related to the case. She is scheduled to be in court at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Snow’s erratic behavior disrupted both legs of American flight 704 from Charlotte to Frankfurt, Germany, on Nov. 23 and 24, according to a federal affidavit.

According to the affidavit by federal Air Marshal Joseph D. Fialka, who was assigned to the round trip, Snow slapped other flight attendants and shoved, punched or kicked at marshals. Fialka says that other flight attendants told him before takeoff from Charlotte that they had tried to have Snow removed from duty but that American did not replace her.

American spokeswoman Katie Cody released this statement midday Monday:

“We are aware of the incident, along with the subsequent criminal complaint, and take this matter very seriously. We are cooperating fully with federal law enforcement in their investigation, and are working directly with our employees. The safety and security of our customers and employees is always the top priority.”

In his affidavit, Fialka said Snow confessed to him several times before takeoff that she was “crazy” or a “train wreck.”

Once the doors closed, another attendant told Fialka that Snow had slapped her in the middle galley of the airplane. Some 45 minutes later, Fialka says, Snow shoved him several times.

“She was quite irrational at this time,” the marshal said in his affidavit. “She proceeded to the back of the plane, I learned that, while in the back of the plane, she grabbed the collar of the clothing (of another marshal) … and spoke nonsensical things.”

Later, Fialka said he tried to calm Snow. In response, she struck him twice with her open palm in his chest, he said. “The force of this action moved me back. I weigh considerably more than Snow.”

The behavior continued and disrupted the rest of the flight, then resumed on the trip back to Charlotte with the same crew in place, the affidavit says.

After landing, the flight crew wanted to find help for their colleague, Fialka wrote, but at customs, Snow’s behavior escalated. She began yelling and screaming and tried to get around passport control. Fialka says he handcuffed her for her own safety, then escorted her to an interview room.

There, he says, she kicked him five or six time before he and another law enforcement officer could restrain her.

Snow’s initial appearance in federal court was canceled.

Via TheCharlotteObserver by Michael Gordon

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