Southwest employee hospitalized after alleged assault by passenger

An employee for Southwest Airlines was hospitalized Saturday after she was allegedly assaulted by a passenger boarding a flight to New York City from Dallas Love Field.

The incident, which took place around 12:40 p.m., involved an allegedly unruly female passenger who police identified as Arielle Jean Jackson, 32.

Jackson "boarded the plane and went straight to the back" where she had a "verbal altercation with a flight attendant who instructed the suspect to leave the plane," police said in a statement to Fox News.

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The original police statement described the employee as a flight attendant; however, Southwest Airlines later clarified the victim was an operations agent.

The suspect then "went to the front of the plane where she had another verbal altercation with another flight attendant" and began "hitting her with a closed fist to the head," police added Saturday night.

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A Southwest Airlines airplane taxies from a gate at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Oct. 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Jackson has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The employee, according to police, was transported to a hospital and was in "stable condition."

"We have a Station Manager with her at the hospital with the full support of her Southwest Family sending our thoughts, prayers, and love," the airline said in a statement to Fox News. "Southwest Airlines maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of harassment or assault and fully support our Employee as we cooperate with local authorities regarding this unacceptable incident."

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