Man jailed for pushing Southwest Airlines cabin crew member during altercation

Southwest Boeing 737 MAX-8
Tomás Del Coro / Creative Commons

A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight has been jailed in the United States (US) after he pushed a flight attendant during an altercation.

Michael Goins, 35, from Spring Hill, Tennesse, was aboard a Southwest Airlines from Indianapolis that landed at Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) on March 20, 2022.

While the aircraft was waiting to be allocated a gate for deplaning, Goins shouted “several expletives” while speaking on his mobile phone.

A fellow passenger with children felt offended by the bad language, to which Goins responded in an aggressive manner.

An altercation ensued when Goins deliberately pushed his closed fist into a flight attendant’s stomach and shoved her backwards.

At the federal court in Austin, Goins was given the statutory maximum prison sentence for simple assault and ordered to pay $650 compensation.

“This prison sentence reflects the seriousness of these types of crimes and promotes respect for the law,” US Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas, said. “Airline passengers and employees should be able to travel safely, and this violent behavior cannot be tolerated.”

As well as the Austin Police Department, the case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“As a passenger on an active flight, Mr Goins’ disruptive behavior escalated into a violent outburst directed at a flight attendant,” FBI Special Agent Aaron Tapp said. “The FBI is dedicated to ensuring Americans can go to work and travel by plane without the fear of being attacked.”

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