Man Punches Plane Passenger in Anger Over Canceled Florida Flight, Police Say

A man has been arrested after punching another man in the face in anger over a canceled flight, police say.

Efren Dawson, 20, became enraged when his Virginia-bound flight was scrapped while waiting at Florida's St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport on Boxing Day.

Dawson began loudly using profanities in front of a crowd which included children on Saturday night, according to an arrest affidavit and as reported by WFLA.

Another man—also scheduled to be traveling on the same Allegiant flight—told Dawson to "shut his Black a** up", the outlet reports.

Efren Dawson
Efren Dawson, 20, allegedly punched another man in the face, nose and eye over a canceled flight at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, according to Pinellas County deputies. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Dawson is then alleged to have punched the man in the face, nose and eye, causing the victim's eye to swell and nose to bleed, Pinellas County deputies say.

The 20-year-old was charged with simple battery and booked into the Pinellas County jail, online records show.

According to 10 Tampa Bay, he has since been released from jail after posting a $500 bond.

The identity of the victim is not known, however Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokesman Corporal Chuck Skipper told Law&Crime he was "a white male."

"We are sorry for our passengers and employees who were impacted by this individual's unacceptable behavior," a spokesperson for the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport told Fox News.

Newsweek has contacted the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office for comment.

In another bizarre incident to have occurred this year, an American Airlines passenger filed a lawsuit against the airline charging that a flight attendant grabbed her and shook her arm after she used an extra blanket during a flight.

Nathalie Sorensen of Miami reportedly filed the lawsuit against American Airlines in Dallas. The suit alleges that a flight attendant named Thor assaulted Sorensen and had police officers waiting for her when she exited the flight this past December.

Sorensen, who is suing the airline for more than $1 million in Dallas County Court, said in her lawsuit that she felt "embarrassed, humiliated and shamed" following the incident, according to the Dallas The Morning News. Her suit also states that she "has suffered great mental pain and in all reasonable likelihood will continue to suffer in this manner for the duration of her natural life."

In a statement sent to Newsweek, a spokesperson for American Airlines said, "We are reviewing the lawsuit and the details of the flight. We take the safety and comfort of our customers very seriously and we're committed to providing a positive experience for everyone who travels with us."

According to the lawsuit, Sorensen was aboard American Airlines Flight 2575 with her fiancé. While asleep in first class, Sorensen was woken up by a flight attendant who yelled, "Wake up right now. Wake up!," according to the lawsuit.

The suit then says the attendant, who identified himself as Thor, was holding Sorensen by the arm and "shaking her violently."

"I know you stole this blanket!" the suit said the flight attendant told her, according to the Morning News.

Sorensen was "crying and shaking hysterically" during the altercation, the suit said, and her fiancé told the flight attendant to get his hands off of her.

"This is my airplane. I am the head flight attendant and I can touch whoever I want," the attendant said, according to the suit.

The suit added that Sorensen told the attendant the other blanket was taken from her fiancé, who was seated next to her, with his permission. Despite her explanation that the blanket was not stolen, the attendant came back and gave Sorensen a warning slip detailing the Federal Aviation Administration penalties for disruptive passengers and told her to "watch out," according to the suit.

According to the Morning News, when the flight landed at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Sorensen was escorted off the plane by six police officers but was released after a brief interview.

United Airlines Flight
File photo: People board a United Airlines Boeing 757 airplane as police arrest a man for punching a fellow passenger over a canceled flight at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. Gary Hershorn/Getty