Cody Lovins has been caught on video punching a United employee


May 3, 2023 | 10:31 a.m

A Texas man has been charged with battery and banned from flying with United after he was videotaped allegedly punching an airline worker on a plane.

Police said Cody Lovins, 47, of Montgomery, was arrested in Terminal 3 of San Francisco International Airport early Monday in connection with a “physical altercation” that occurred on a United flight from San Francisco to Houston prior to take off.

Viral footage recorded by eyewitness Naya Jimenez showed a man in a blue T-shirt, later identified as Lovins, repeatedly hitting a crew member during a fight over a seat.

According to police, Lovins was cited for battery and then released. United Airlines said the passenger was banned from all future flights with the carrier due to his “unacceptable” behaviour.

Jimenez, who recorded video of the altercation, told station KTRK that the situation began to unfold as he boarded the plane shortly before midnight Sunday.

According to the woman, Lovins flew into a rage after asking his wife and then to get out of her assigned seat.

Passenger Cody Lovins, 47, is seen, left, in handcuffs after punching a United Airlines employee while boarding the flight.
Courtesy of Naya Jimenez
Video recorded by another passenger shows Lovins lunging at a crew member.
Courtesy of Naya Jimenez

“They had to bring in the gatekeeper to try and talk to both of them,” she said.

The 47-year-old, who Jimenez said “threw his speech a bit,” proceeded to repeatedly hit the airline employee, as seen in the video.

“Oh my God! Whoa! Whoa!” The screams of other passengers on the plane are heard in the footage.

The 47-year-old was removed from the flight and subsequently arrested for battery.
Courtesy of Naya Jimenez

According to Jimenez, the already chaotic situation took an even more dangerous turn when Lovins opened an emergency exit, planning to jump out of the plane.

The passenger said crew members ran up to the man just in time and pulled him to safety.

After Lovins was removed from the flight for his disruptive actions, police said they arrested him in the airport terminal and held him for battery — a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum penalty of six months in California.

Passenger Naya Jimenez recorded the altercation, which she said began after Lovins was told to get out of her assigned seat.
United Airlines banned Lovins from ever flying with the airline due to his “unacceptable” behavior.
Christopher Sadowsky

In the aftermath of the incident, Lovins was banned from flying with United.

“This customer’s behavior is unacceptable, he has been banned from future United flights, and we are working with local law enforcement in their investigation,” a spokesperson for the airline said in a statement.

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