- A man was arrested in Florida after being accused of striking a flight attendant, according to police
- The passenger was apparently asked to wear a face mask when the incident occurred, say reports.
- Authorities told the Pensacola News Journal that he was charged with battery and resisting arrest.
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A 70-year old man was arrested in Florida after striking a flight attendant on a plane when he was asked to wear a face mask, according to police.
Pensacola News Journal reported that the incident occurred as the plane was nearing landing in Pensacola on Thursday 5 August.
John Loucky, 70, of Canyonville, Oregon, was arrested after his flight landed at about 2:30 pm at Pensacola International Airport.
Authorities told the outlet that Loucky was charged with battery and resisting arrest. He was booked into the Escambia County Jail with a $US500 ($AU681) bail.
“From what I understand, from reading the report, he was not wearing the mask properly. I don’t know what that means, but he was not wearing it properly,” Mike Wood, a Pensacola Police Department spokesman told the News Journal.
He added: “The flight attendant asked him to put his mask on the proper way, and he became agitated and struck her. He struck her arm.”
Pensacola International Airport did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
On top of the criminal charges, Loucky could face a fine of up to $US40,000 ($AU54,498), the outlet reported. “Right now, the way that the FAA has it set up is a $US10,000 ($AU13,624) fine for not listening to a crew member and it is $US30,000 ($AU40,873) for assaulting a crew member or fellow passenger,” Lewis Garvin, an airport spokesperson, told the outlet.
The incident follows a series of mask-related disputes on planes at a time when violence is spiking.
Recently, a maskless American Airlines passenger screamed at police for 10 minutes during her arrest. The New Orleans Advocate reported that the flight was preparing to leave Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on Friday but was delayed for up to an hour over the mask incident.