Police are investigating a possible hate crime after a violent attack on a female flight attendant at the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport. The victim suffered minor injuries and is expected to recover.
32-year-old Brandon Smith was arrested early Friday morning after a violent attack on a female flight attendant as she went to her car after work. Around 2:15 in the morning, the unnamed victim was on the Sky Train platform at 44th Street and Van Buren Street, a sometimes desolate stop leaving the airport, when she was attacked by Smith.
The victim helped authorities identify Smith as her attacker and statements made to the police took the investigation in the direction of a hate crime. The Phoenix Police Department’s Bias Unit was engaged to assist in the investigation.
A report from local Arizona news source Arizona’s Family shared comments from a flight attendant about the dangerous stop.
“I was shocked but not really shocked because I’ve seen what’s around in the area. And there hasn’t been security or whatnot up here. I’m always making sure if I am alone here at night, if I get off a trip we’re pretty good that we have coworkers, pilots or whatnot that we’re making sure we’re going in pairs.”FA interview with Arizona’s Family
Kim Brown, an airport employee who was also interviewed by Arizona’s Family, said, “I do see a lot of homeless out here near 44th Street and that has concerned me because you never know what attitude they’re going to have.”
Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport issued an official statement regarding the incident and ongoing investigation:
“The safety and security of our employees and customers is our top priority. We are very concerned about the assault of this employee and we commend her for her bravery and composure, which assisted Police in quickly arresting the suspect. We are constantly assessing the security environment at the airport, and we will closely examine what lead to this incident to determine whether additional security measures can and should be implemented.”Sky Harbor Airport Statement
Every crime is a “hate” crime. Although, I do find irony here: To all the flight attendants who love to bully people onboard (including autistic children) and have made flying absolutely miserable for the last two years…….just remember, there’s ALWAYS somebody out there bigger, tougher and who just doesn’t give a s—
I don’t know what airline you’ve flown on?
In my 50 years of flying I’ve NEVER seen or heard a flight attendant “Bully” a passenger. Maybe you should try another type of transportation?
To Chris…you’re disgusting. Flight attendants do the job they are paid to do by the company they work for. Shame on you!
None of that explains why it’s a “hate” crime. Weird. Must be more to the story.
All flight attendants need security, especially in the am’s
Because you don’t like flight attendants..are you saying it’s okay to assault them? Totally ignorant comment.
I have flown a few times with different airlines never have I experienced an attendant being in kind they work hard very attentive I hope and pray the young lady is doing well