Suspected unruly passenger charged with attacking flight attendant on flight from NYC to OC

A 20-year-old Irvine man was arrested Monday on federal charges of attacking a flight attendant during a trip from New York bound for Orange County that had to be diverted to Denver.

Brian Hsu was charged with interference with a flight crew and assault, according to federal prosecutors in Colorado.

RELATED: American Airlines bans passenger who assaulted flight attendant over mask rule, witnesses say

Hsu is accused of assaulting the flight attendant Wednesday aboard an American Airlines flight, which took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport and was bound for John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana before it had to be diverted to Denver International Airport, prosecutors said.

The alleged attack happened about halfway through the flight when the plane was over Ohio, one passenger said.

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Several witnesses initially told reporters that the attack erupted over a dispute about wearing a mask.  But various media outlets in Denver reported that the flight attendant had accidentally bumped into Hsu -- a first-class passenger -- and apologized, but Hsu allegedly got out of his seat, walked to the airplane's galley and punched the flight attendant twice before returning to his seat.

American Airlines issued a statement at the time saying, "Acts of violence against our team members are not tolerated by American Airlines." The airline announced that Hsu would no longer be permitted to fly on American.

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