VIDEO: Southwest Airlines employee attacked at Atlanta airport by Nevada man

A man from Henderson, Nevada, has been arrested for attacking an employee at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. (Source: WGCL)
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 12:20 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A man from Henderson, Nevada, has been arrested for attacking an employee at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

According to the Atlanta Police Department, police officers responded to the airport around 8:19 p.m. March 22. Upon arrival, they met with a Southwest Airlines employee who said he was assaulted by a passenger who had been escorted off of a flight.

Police say that Courney Donta Drummond refused to comply with flight attendants after his flight left the gate and was on its way to the tarmac. Because of his behavior, the pilot turned the plane around and went back to the gate.

After he was escorted off of the plane, he threatened a Southwest Airlines employee several times and ultimately assaulted him, according to police. A video of the incident has since gone viral on social media.

Drummond is being charged with simple battery and battery and obstruction. He was transported to Clayton County Jail.

Statement from International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM):

“The IAM is appalled and outraged by the violent assault on an airline employee in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. While the airline employee who was assaulted is a not an IAM member, our members put themselves in harm’s way to help deescalate the situation. Our entire union sends our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, these types of attacks on airline employees, including customer service agents and other airport workers on the ground, are occurring with frightening frequency. The IAM and our allies in transportation labor continue to lead the charge to increase penalties on any passenger who assaults workers at our nation’s airports, including adding offenders to no-fly lists. Every airline and airport worker deserves a workplace free from the threat of violence.”

The latest arrest continues a trend of unruly passengers reported by airline workers and the FAA.

The FAA says 2021 was the worst on record for bad passengers. There were nearly 6,000 reports of unruly passengers last year and 4,200 of them were mask related.

Last year, the FAA announced a zero-tolerance policy that skips warnings and goes directly to penalties. That policy stays in place until the federal mask mandate goes away.

CBS46 has reached out to the airport and Southwest Airlines but they have yet to release a statement.