A Spirit Airlines gate agent has been suspended for his involvement in the brawl that took place on August 11 at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport .
In a video captured inside Terminal E of the airport by witness Thomas Shannon, a Spirit employee (who the airline has suggested was contracted through a partner company) and a passenger can be seen embroiled in a verbal conflict that turned kinetic.
There is visual context missing from the video since Shannon had responded with camera in hand only after he heard the initial yelling. The commotion is said to be the result of a dispute at the gate.
The agent reportedly told police that the female passenger exited the jetway and began yelling that there was nowhere for her to sit on the plane. After allegedly telling her to join the line in order to speak to an agent, the agent said the passenger cut in line and became uncooperative, prompting him to take her boarding ticket.
The passenger told the Dallas Morning News that she "didn't do anything" and that the agent had torn her boarding pass in half, thereby setting the stage for what came next.
"Don't touch me ever in your life," said the agent, identified in a DFW airport police report as Emmanuel Sullivan of Grapevine. "Don't ever invade my personal space."
The passenger, who has been reported to be Ayriana Davis of Fort Worth, responded by screaming, "Get out of my face." She proceeded to call the employee a "faggot," then followed up the remark with additional profanities, racial slurs, and physical contact.
Sullivan repeatedly told Davis to get out of his personal space, at which point she can be seen in the video giving him a forceful shove.
A male bystander intervened, initially creating some space between the two. However, as the space collapsed and the shouting continued, Davis managed to allegedly smack Sullivan over the bystander's shoulder.
Upon being struck, Sullivan roared: "Oh wait!"
The bystander tried to block the agent's charge, but Sullivan managed to break through and over to Davis, who had begun to flee. In the video, he tackles her to the ground, and despite another attempt by the bystander to intervene, punches the passenger in the side of the head.
Davis told reporters that after the fracas, she went to hospital with a fractured leg, abrasions, and swelling.
After the incident, Shannon — who caught it all on video — posed the question: "What happens when the woman strikes first and is throwing abuses and assaults? ... And what happens when the man snaps?"
Spirit Airlines told WFAA on August 12 that the airline "does not tolerate violence of any kind" and that the "vendor at DFW has suspended the agent."