A volatile rider has been charged with a national transgression — and banned for beingness from American Airlines — aft helium was captured connected video punching a formation attendant successful the head, according to Justice Department and hose officials.

The incidental occurred Wednesday connected a formation from San José del Cabo successful Mexico to Los Angeles.

Alexander Tung Cuu Le, 33, of Westminster, successful Southern California, was arrested erstwhile the craft landed astatine Los Angeles International Airport, according to an American Airlines official. He was charged Thursday with 1 number of interference with formation unit members and attendants, which carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years successful prison, said a connection by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

According to the statement, Le grabbed a formation attendant’s enarthrosis and demanded java astir 20 minutes aft the craft took off. He besides allegedly disrupted passengers by hanging retired adjacent the first-class conception of the cabin.

When different formation attendant told Le to instrumentality to his assigned seat, Le “allegedly stood up and assumed a warring stance towards the formation attendant by making closed fists with some of his hands, which the formation attendant interpreted arsenic a threat,” according to the DOJ statement.

A video taken by chap rider Barrie Livingstone shows Le seemingly initially swinging his limb astatine the formation attendant but missing. As the attendant turned to locomotion away, Le tin beryllium seen rushing guardant to onslaught the attendant successful the head, eliciting cries of interest and outrage connected the aircraft. The onslaught was “witnessed by respective passengers,” the Justice Department said.

Le past “fled” to the backmost of the plane, wherever helium was “apprehended by respective passengers” and unit members, the connection added.

Le’s “hands and legs were cuffed,” but helium “continuously unbuckled his seatbelt, causing formation attendants to restrain him to the spot with seatbelt extenders,” officials noted.

Le has been barred from each aboriginal flights by American Airlines.

“Acts of unit against our squad members are not tolerated by American Airlines,” said a connection from American. “The idiosyncratic progressive successful this incidental volition ne'er beryllium allowed to question with america successful the future, and we volition enactment intimately with instrumentality enforcement successful their investigation.”

The hose thanked unit members and passengers for restraining Le until the craft was met by instrumentality enforcement astatine LAX.

Le appeared Thursday astatine the U.S. District Court successful downtown Los Angeles, wherever helium was charged.

The proceeding was continued to Monday, Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s​ office, told SFGate. “That volition beryllium a detention hearing to find his bond, if any. Mr. Le has not pleaded to thing yet,” McEvoy added.

Attacks connected formation attendants person skyrocketed successful the past 2 years, mostly triggered by sometimes violent, defiant responses to requirements to deterioration masks earlier successful the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Aviation Administration logged an incredible 5,981 “unruly rider reports past year. In 2020, the FAA investigated lone 183 reports.