Last night there was a disturbing scene at the H Gates of Miami International Airport (MIA). MIA has been the epicenter of unruly passengers since the beginning of the pandemic and I’ve even witnessed some of it myself. I’m not sure why but it’s upsetting … and there’s more to the story than just the main video making its rounds on Twitter.
After first seeing this 47-second video (embedded below) of passengers brawling with a police officer, you have to think the passenger is insane but the police officer’s actions almost led to a riot and not because he pulled his gun out.
(warning: distressing images)
An alarming scene at Miami Int’l Airport on Monday night, as a brawl broke out between airline passengers and police right beside the boarding gates. pic.twitter.com/srhFntxJ35
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 21, 2021
According to a witness, Mike Mailak, interviewed by Local 10 News, it all started when “an unruly passenger on a flight to Santo Domingo was upset about something. I wasn’t sure if it was his class of travel, his check bag fees, a delay, something.”
The two men arrested were Mayfrer Serranopaca, 30, of Kissimmee, Florida and Alberto Yanez-Suarez, 32, of Odessa, Texas. Reports say it all began when Serranopaca’s flight to Santo Domingo on a charter airline, Air Century Airline, was delayed so he confronted the first employee he saw, which was a Turkish Airlines employee in a transport cart. When the Turkish employee said he couldn’t help because he worked for a different airline, “Serranopaca snatched the cart’s key, breaking it and preventing the employee from driving away.”
He had to be really pissed if he thought an employee from another airline could help him. But if you watch the video (embedded below) posted by another passenger, which caught what started the almost-riot, it looks like the cop was the one who escalated it. Obviously, he shouldn’t have tried grabbing the police officer from walking away but the cop shouldn’t have smacked the dude in his face. That got the crowd, and especially what appears to be the passenger’s wife, all fired up. People just need to chill.
— Alex Coquíto (@coquito_alex) December 21, 2021
Miami International Airport released the following statement: “Like airports across the country, MIA is seeing record-high passenger numbers this winter travel season. Unfortunately, that passenger growth has come with a record-high increase nationwide in bad behavior as well, such as the incident this evening at MIA. Disruptive passengers face police arrest, civil penalties up to $37,000, being banned from flying, and potential federal prosecution. We have worked so hard to rebound from the pandemic and make traveling safe again, so we can visit our loved ones. Please travel responsibly by getting to the airport extra early, being patient, complying with the federal mask law and airport staff, limiting your alcohol consumption, and notifying police at the first sign of bad behavior by calling 911.”
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