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‘Oh, My God! Stop! Stop!’: Belligerent Passenger Repeatedly Punches United Airlines Crew Member, Forcing Passengers to Step In Confrontation Over Seat Assignment

San Francisco police were called to remove a “disruptive passenger” on a United Airlines flight scheduled to fly from California to Texas after he and his wife were asked to go to their assigned seats.

The man was videotaped assaulting an attendant before the red-eye flight took off. After striking the flight staffer, eyewitnesses also said the man almost jumped out of the plane — igniting another concern about his well-being.

Belligerent Passenger Reportedly Tries to Jump Off Plane After Attack on United Airlines Crew Member ov Caught on Video
Cody Benjamin Lovins is now banned from traveling on United Airlines after attacking a flight attendant. (Photo: Good Morning America/YouTube screenshot)

Responding officers identified the man as Cody Benjamin Lovins, 47, of Montgomery, Texas.

According to police, after being detained, Lovins was cited for battery and released, NBC Bay Area reported.

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Passenger Naya Jimenez was on the same early Monday morning flight scheduled to leave on May 1. The couple was occupying her seat, so she asked them to slide over so she can sit in an empty seat, but they blocked her, according to Fox News.

An attendant asked the man and his wife to move to their assigned seats. Jimenez told ABC News the man did not like it.

“They had to bring in a gate attendant to try to talk to both of them,” Jimenez explained.

The attendant “just kept explaining like ‘Sir, doesn’t look like your wife is assigned here. Could we please like escort her to her correct seat?’”

Jimenez continued, “He was just like ‘No, we insist. This is what we were assigned to.”

Reportedly, at least one of the couple’s seats was in first class. The altercation happened in economy class.

After getting settled in her seat, a little after midnight, Jimenez said the altercation started to bubble up. At some point, the witness pulled out her cellphone and started recording.

“Then, he began slurring his speech a little bit, like, ‘Sir, why are you smiling at me?’ That’s the first thing he said.”

Lovins started throwing punches at the flight attendant and other passengers stepped in to restrain him, backing him up into the passageway threshold.

“Oh, my God! Stop! Stop!” other travelers yelled.

The woman said after the physical altercation, the situation took a more unusual turn.

“After he paused for a minute, he ran toward where the pilot was, where the emergency exit doors are, and attempted to open it. [He] successfully opened the emergency exit and was about to jump down,” she recalled.

“The plane is elevated,” she said, “So he would have jumped apparently two stories to the ground, and the flight attendants just kicked in, and everybody pulled him back to safety.”

ABC reports the couple subsequently deplaned voluntarily. In a statement regarding the incident, a spokesperson for United Airlines noted, “On Sunday night, our team at San Francisco International Airport immediately contacted law enforcement officials after a customer became disruptive during boarding.”

The rep said Lovins’ “behavior was unacceptable” and noted, “he has been banned from future United flights.”

The local United staff is currently working with law enforcement as they continue to investigate the incident.

The company expressed its gratitude to the San Francisco team for its “professionalism in this situation.”

According to data from FlightAware, despite the intense altercation, the plane was only 13 minutes late. It took off from San Francisco at 12:12 a.m. on May 1 and arrived on time at its final destination of Houston.

Recently there have been several altercations with unruly passengers attacking attendants on flights.

One man is facing federal charges after he allegedly attacked a flight attendant and attempted to open an emergency door on a different United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston on March 5.

“A flight attendant then confronted Torres about tampering with the door, to which he allegedly responded by asking if there were cameras showing that he had done so,” the prosecutor’s office said.

The man also threatened the other passengers on the flight. He repeatedly said, “It is going to be a bloodbath,” before exiting his seat and appearing to hold a spoon in his hands as a weapon.

“Torres then allegedly thrust towards one of the flight attendants in a stabbing motion with a broken metal spoon, hitting the flight attendant on the neck area three times,” the prosecutor’s office said.

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