UPDATE: Man Charged With Assault, Interfering With American Airlines Flight Crew

NEW YORK (CBSDFW/AP) — Authorities say an American Airlines flight from New York to California was diverted to Denver after a passenger assaulted a flight attendant.

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Flight 976 was heading Wednesday evening from John F. Kennedy International Airport American Airlines to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana when it landed at Denver International Airport and taxied safely to the gate.

The airline says the passenger was removed and the flight continued on to California. The flight attendant was reportedly taken to a hospital.

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One passenger, Mackenzie Rose, told CBS Los Angeles the incident occurred about halfway through the flight, when the plane was over Ohio. The passenger suspected of assaulting the flight attendant was apparently in first or business class.

Rose provided CBS L.A. with what she said is a photo of the man in Denver International Airport:

(credit: Mackenzie Rose)

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Airline officials say they won’t tolerate “acts of violence” against its employees. The assault comes amid a surge in unruly airline passengers this year, who sometimes become violent.

CBSDFW.com Staff