‘Highly disruptive’ passenger charges airport gate agent to the ground after being denied boarding

A man knocked a female gate agent to the ground at Seattle-Tacoma airport after he was denied boarding earlier this week.

Mark Allen Hicks, 47, from California, was due to fly to Sitka, Alaska with Alaska Airlines on Monday 24 August when he became “highly disruptive” a spokesperson for the carrier told Fox News.

He was originally turned away from the gate because he wasn’t wearing a mask.

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However, when he returned wearing a face covering, staff at the gate decided he was too intoxicated to fly and denied him boarding onto the flight, reports local television station KIRO.

Hicks became disruptive, and he pushed one of the agents, Jill Simpson Lopotosky, to the ground before charging over her to get to the jet bridge connecting to the aircraft.

“Port of Seattle police were called in for a reported assault against an Alaska Airlines agent,” an airport spokesperson confirmed.

“Quite suddenly, the gentleman just decided to go through one of the people, a woman, and essentially walked right through her and over the top of her as she fell down onto the ground and tried to continue on through to the jetway.”

Lopotosky was taken to hospital and treated for a partially dislocated shoulder. She has since been recovering at home.

Meanwhile, the man was arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault.

The Independent has contacted Alaska Airlines and Seattle airport for further comment.

Wearing masks on flights has become a contentious issue in the US after the majority of airlines made it compulsory to help slow the spread of coronavirus infections.

Earlier this month, an entire JetBlue flight was forced to deplane after a two-year-old refused to wear a mask onboard.

Mother of six Chaya Bruck was travelling from Orlando to New York with all her children when the “traumatising” incident occurred.

Before the flight took off, a member of cabin crew insisted Bruck’s youngest daughter cover her nose and mouth.

“I said I could try but then she was pulling it off,” Bruck told NBC New York.

“A few minutes later, they came to me and they told me that I have to gather my things and I have to get off the plane.”

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