An American Airlines flight diverted after passenger assaulted flight attendant

An American Airlines flight from New York City to Orange County, California was forced to land in Denver when an angry gentleman assaulted a flight attendant. The reason for his behavior? Yes, you guessed it — he was asked to wear a mask.

According to NBC, the airline hasn't given details on the assault or the condition of the flight attendant, but did put out a stern statement:

"Acts of violence against our team members will not be tolerated by American Airlines. The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This behavior must stop, and aggressive enforcement and prosecution of the law is the best deterrent."

From NBC:

Law enforcement apprehended the passenger at the gate, according to American Airlines. …

The passenger's identity has not been released, and no details were immediately available about charges. …

Data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration show 923 investigations have been initiated this year into violations of specific regulations or federal laws.

The number is up from 183 last year and 146 in 2019. Prior to 2021, the most investigations initiated in the 26-year period dating back to 1995 was 310 in 2004.