Call it a sign of the times, a spilling over of the unchecked and often seemingly sanctioned violence that has come to characterize the nation’s streets in recent weeks.
Whatever its deeper cause, the battering of three Spirit airline employees at a South Florida airport this week by passengers angry over a delayed fight was nothing if not ugly.
The wild brawl, which was caught on video, kicked off Tuesday night at a gate for a Philadelphia-bound flight from Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
The employees sustained minor injuries when three impatient passengers “became combative following a delayed flight,” the airline said, according to news station WPLG.
Footage of the melee shows several women pelting the unfortunate workers with an array of items before going behind the counter to attack at least one of the employees.
Objects hurled at staff included phones, shoes, full water bottles, metal boarding signs and fast food, according to Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
“The victims were also punched and kicked in different sections of their bodies numerous times,” arrest documents say.
Tymaya Wright, 20, Danaysha Dixon, 22, and Keira Ferguson, 21, were all busted on battery charges relating to the violent incident, authorities said. Wright faces an additional charge for allegedly taking a Spirit employee’s phone.
The women were taken to the Broward County Jail, where they were released on bond Wednesday morning.
They declined to give their side of the story, telling WPLG only that they were trying to get home to Philadelphia.
Spirit praised the “professionalism and quick actions” of their employees in a statement released Wednesday.
“This violent behavior is completely unacceptable and has absolutely no place in airports or any other place of business,” the airline said. “We will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind.”