A pilot for Delta Airlines returned to work after he was caught on video hitting passenger last week at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. At the time of the incident, the passenger was involved in a brawl with another woman. He tried to stop them by throwing his fist.
Delta defended the pilot, saying he was trying to break up the fight. “We became aware of this incident and a video last week and immediately removed the pilot from duty while we completed a thorough investigation,” a spokesperson for the company told E! Online and TMZ in a statement Saturday.
The spokesperson continued: “Local law enforcement was called to respond at the time of the incident. The pilot has since been returned to work as our investigation found that his actions deescalated an altercation between passengers on the jetway floor during deplaning.”
The incident was record April 21, but the video didn’t go viral until Saturday. The video shows the pilot trying to separate the two women. He grabs one of the women by the arm and hits her. When his efforts are futile, he walks away. A man can be heard yelling, “Knock it off.”
Click hereto view the footage, which was exclusively shared by TMZ.
Neither woman in the video is pressing charges, TMZ wrote. They reportedly knew each other before the altercation, getting into a fight while they were on the plane.
It was first reported by TMZ that some Delta employees were concerned because security was never called. Authorities supposedly showed up after the women had cooled down and were ready to walk away.
The incident happened days after a Delta Airlines passenger was deplaned after he used the bathroom while waiting for the flight to take off during a 30-minute delay.
A Delta rep told E! Online in a statement: “Our flight crews are extensively trained to ensure the safety and security of all customers. It is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions during all phases of flight, especially at the critical points of takeoff and landing.”
The passenger, Kima Hamilton, was not arrested. He received a partial refund for his ticket.