Woman Accused of Punching American Airlines Flight Attendant Over Garbage Is Given Travel Curbs

The woman arrested on Sunday for repeatedly attacking one flight attendant and verbally abusing another is said to be receiving mental health treatment, having been released on a $15,000 bond. Chenasia Campbell, 28, was said to have become irate because her garbage was not picked up by crew members.

The alleged assault occurred midway through an American Airlines flight from Miami to New York City. Campbell, of Brooklyn, New York, is accused of striking a flight attendant multiple times, as well as knocking the woman to the floor.

An off-duty New York Police Department officer also happened to be aboard the plane at the time of Campbell's alleged misconduct. A criminal complaint filed Monday reports the officer subdued the aggressive passenger and placed her in restraints, which she remained in for the rest of the flight to New York City.

The criminal complaint was filed in the Eastern District of New York. It claims Campbell followed the first flight attendant down the aisle, during which time she complained that no one picked up her garbage. A second attendant attempted to intervene and physically separate the two women, according to the complaint.

However, the attempt to diffuse the situation seemingly backfired on the second flight attendant when Campbell became more irate after her involvement and allegedly pulled the second attendant's hair.

Afterward, Campbell walked away but yelled at another passenger in the process. She then soon returned to scream obscenities at the second flight attendant, the complaint said.

The court document reports Campbell yelled at one point: "Cops aren't going to do anything to me" before striking the flight attendant with closed fists.

When the plane touched down at New York's JFK Airport, Campbell was taken off the craft and placed into police custody.

The criminal complaint also noted that the flight attendant whom Campbell allegedly assaulted sustained scrapes, bruises and a strained neck, but reportedly declined medical attention.

Campbell appeared via teleconference in federal court in Brooklyn Monday afternoon on federal charges of interfering with a flight crew. She was released on a $15,000 bond with travel restrictions imposed.

Campbell's public defender, James Darrow, stated during the hearing that his client is currently participating in a state-run mental health treatment program.

According to the legal website FindLaw.com, acts of interference with a flight crew "that don't quite rise to the level of criminal conduct can still warrant hefty fines by the FAA." Those civil penalties can result in fines of up to $25,000 per violation, and multiple violations can result from one incident.

However, Findlaw.com also notes that flight crew interference incidents that involve physical assault can result in up to 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000.

Newsweek has contacted American Airlines and Darrow for comment.

American Airlines flight
File photo: An American Airlines Boeing 737 passenger plane taxis from a gate to the runway at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C. Chenasia Campbell, 28, is facing charges after she allegedly repeatedly attacked one flight attendant and verbally abused another. Robert Alexander/Getty