An American Airlines pilot was arrested just prior to passenger boarding at São Paulo International airport in Brazil after apparently physically assaulting a female colleague. AA 930 was scheduled to depart for Miami at 1am this morning, but was canceled after the incident.
According to police the pilot informed the operations agent that the bridge was not properly aligned. She responded that it was before “inadvertently” stepping on his foot.
The captain allegedly said to the agent ‘do not to touch me’, to which the employee reportedly responded that she had ‘not touched him’. Witnesses claimed the pilot then pushed the victim and grabbed her by the neck. An airport maintenance worker who was on the scene at the time saw the altercation and intervened. In his defense, the captain claimed the airport attendant tried to punch him. However, the co-pilot has not confirmed this version of events.
The pilot is out of custody and scheduled to appear in court by tomorrow.
AA released this statement on the incident:
“Last night, before boarding AA 930 American Airlines flight from São Paulo (GRU) to Miami (MIA), two crew members were engaged in a discussion in the tunnel that connects a platform to the plane. The authorities are now in charge of the case and providing support to staff members. This is a legal investigation and we are cooperating fully with the authorities. Passengers are being accommodated on other flights throughout the day. American Airlines has provided hotel accommodations and meal vouchers. We apologize to our customers for the problem.”