Spirit Airlines suspended their employee who got into a spirited fight with a woman at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport Thursday.
The mismatched opponents can be seen squaring off, getting handsy and body bumping while loudly arguing in a Twitter video. The August 11 video clip posted to the Texas news outlet DTX Daily Twitter account has been viewed more than 10 million times.
A large, heavy-set Black man can be seen and heard yelling at a shorter, lighter woman of color in an airport terminal. He sounded angry but was not initially physical with her despite her repeated challenges and mocking language that included her derisively referring to him as fat and “a faggot,” which she repeated.
He kept occupying the space she vacated in her retreat from his imposing physical advantage but seemed to take courage from knowing the encounter was being filmed. She sneeringly threw that knowledge in his face in a challenge to counter his towering rage. She pushed him away from her hard at least twice, and he did not physically respond to her laying both hands on him and pushing him.
Shortly after the second push, a man stepped between them in an apparent attempt to deescalate the situation. The unidentified woman called him a dumbass and a word that may have been “bigger” from behind the interceding man. She then stepped to his right to try and hit the Spirit employee. Her first attempt seemed to fall short so she moved closer and smacked the top left side of his head.
The combination of hateful words that preceded the slap, followed by the smack on the head, seemed to unhinge the airline employee. He pushed away the man trying to deescalate and went after his assailant, whom he tackled below the waist.
She quickly regained her feet and started to run away but was not fast enough to dodge a punch to the back of her head from the Spirit employee. A scrum of men rushed to surround the angry man.
“Everybody! Back up from me!” the enraged agent yelled. “This bitch put her hands on me.”
They quickly backed away as the agent’s enraged yells were accompanied by him tossing lane separators around.
Eventually, a taller Black man got in his face and remained glued to his front telling him it was not OK to hit a woman. The man was seemingly unswayed by the words the airline employee used to justify his acts. The video soon ends, presumably because no further fighting occurred between him and the woman.
Spirit Airlines acknowledged they were aware of the incident, according to a New York Post report.
“Our vendor at DFW has suspended the agent,” the company said in the Post report. “Spirit Airlines does not tolerate violence of any kind, and we are working with local law enforcement to investigate this matter.”
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