September 17, 2020 6:14 am
An alarming airport attack on an Alaska Airlines gate agent was caught on video where the agent was pushed to the floor
By Sandesh Ilhe
An alarming airport attack on an Alaska Airlines gate agent was caught on video where the agent was pushed to the floor.
It’s a surveillance video you’ll see only on KIRO 7.
That gate agent had to remind the passenger that he couldn’t board the flight without wearing a mask.
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The passenger went away and came back after a while. When he did, they said he was too intoxicated to fly.
The video begins with the passenger having his ticket swiped. He is the man wearing a tan T-shirt. As he walks toward the jetway, three gate agents surround him, including longtime agent Jill Simpson Lopotosky.
We can’t hear what they are saying, but we are told he is being informed he won’t be allowed to fly.
It was midday Aug. 24 at Gate N14 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The man, later identified as 47-year-old Mark Alan Hicks of Folsom, California, had already been told he couldn’t fly without a mask.
He left. By the time he returned, he was wearing a mask, but the agents concluded he was too drunk to fly.
The surveillance video shows them talking to him for a few seconds. Then, without warning, he pushes past, knocking Lopotosky flat.
We showed the video to some passengers at SEA.
“That’s very shocking, actually to see,” said Christopher Simpson, San Diego, CA, who jumped when he saw Lopotosky fall. “She’s doing her job and he... That’s too much there.”
Too much, even for those who know the frustration that can come with flying.
“I’ve had a couple of instances myself with having my service animal,” said Melissa Gwinner, Honolulu, HI. “It’s really, really difficult sometimes. And I feel a lot of stress and anxiety when I deal with it. But the number one rule for me is, nobody has a right to put their hands on anybody else. It’s a free country. You’re free to say and do whatever you want. But it doesn’t give you the right to put your hands on anyone.”
Mr. Hicks was released on bail. The case has been referred to the King County prosecutor.
As for the gate agent, she is still not back at work. Doctors now think she suffered a concussion and a dislocated shoulder.