Will the person who attacked an American Airlines flight attendant be charged?

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — The American Airlines flight attendant attacked by a passenger mid-flight is back home after a short stay at a Denver hospital.

As of Friday, the man who allegedly attacked her has not been charged.

We don’t know the attacker’s current whereabouts, but he was on a flight from New York City to Santa Ana, California.

That plane was diverted to Denver International Airport after officials say he hurt the flight attendant so bad, she ended up with a broken nose.

Why hasn’t the person who attacked the flight attendant been charged?

Some of you may be pondering this parable tonight: If something like this happened on the street, he’d probably be in jail or at least charged by now.

“It’s normal when it comes to an assault in the air,” former federal prosecutor Douglas Richards said.

He is not surprised no charges have been officially filed yet. He says the legal process from incidents in the air requires some painstaking patience.

“On the federal side, usually the FBI would wrap up their investigation, present it to the prosecutor, and that’s sort of the period that we’re in right now,” Richards told FOX31’s Joshua Short. “They will be doing their work to collect witness statements from everyone that was up in the air, and sometimes that’s difficult, because when people hit the ground at an airport, they go in different directions, so they have to track down witnesses, get their statements, collect cell phone footage.”

What’s not clear is what led up to this attack. But it’s fueling fair flak on such a turbulent topic.

“It may seem to all of us on the other side, maybe nothing is happening, but I have no doubt that the FBI is aggressively investigating. I have no doubt that we’ll see some sort of charge materialize soon,” Richards said.

We’ve reached out to the FBI. Officials confirmed no charges had been filed as of Friday night. Any charges would be federal, so the next time we expect to learn anything would be Monday at the earliest.

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