The California woman who punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant in the face during a flight, fracturing her teeth was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for the offense.
Vyvianna Quinonez was also sentenced to roughly $26,000 in restitution and a $7,500 fine by a federal judge in San Diego on Tuesday for the assault on a Southwest flight between Sacramento and San Diego on May 23, 2021.
While on supervised release, the 29-year-old Sacramento woman is barred from flying for three years and is required to attend anger management programs or counseling.
Quinonez admitted to punching a flight attendant in the face and head with a closed fist and grabbing her hair when she pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with flight crew members and attendants last year. She and her lawyer could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Quinonez was requested to buckle her seat belt, stow her tray table, and put on her facemask properly during the flight’s final descent.
Quinonez instead began recording the attendant on her iPhone, shoved her, stood up, hit her in the face, and grabbed her hair before other passengers intervened, according to investigators.
Another passenger’s cellphone captured the assault.
The flight attendant suffered three chipped teeth, two of which required crowns, as well as bruises and a cut under her left eye that required stitches, according to the plea bargain.
“Attacks on flight crew members, who perform vital jobs to ensure passenger safety, will not be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement after the sentencing.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy said the sentence should “send a very strong message to air travelers — the FBI will vigorously pursue anyone who assaults or interferes with flight crews.”