The woman who repeatedly punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant in the face because she was asked to put on her seatbelt has had her sentencing delayed because she was arrested for DUI and remains in custody.
Vyvianna M. Quinonez, 28, of Sacramento, punched the flight attendant during a May 2021 Southwest flight to San Diego. The flight attendant suffered three chipped teeth, two of which had to be replaced with crowns.
The flight attendant also required stitches for a cut underneath her eye and suffered bruising to her left eye and a bruise in the shape of fingers on her right forearm.
In December, Quinonez pleaded guilty to assaulting the flight attendant in a plea deal with prosecutors. She was due to be sentenced later this month but a judge has been forced to delay the sentencing hearing until May because of her latest arrest.
Quinonez was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol in January after officers spotted her driving erratically and swerving around traffic. She was cited for driving under the influence but Quinonez claims recent gastric band surgery caused an abnormally high blood alcohol reading.
In her arrest report, CHP said she had told officers that she had several drinks after an argument with her boyfriend.
Quinonez later admitted to pre-trial services that her doctor had warned her that her “blood alcohol concentration may rise abnormally due to the small size of her stomach” when drinks alcohol.
A U.S. District Court issued a warrant for Quinonez’s arrest in late January having found that she broke the conditions of her pre-sentencing bond.
A judge has now been forced to delay her sentencing on the assault charge while she contests the DUI. Quinonez is now due to be sentenced on May 27.
Quinonez could face up to 20 years in jail plus a $250,000 fine for assaulting the flight attendants, however, prosecutors agreed to seek just four months jail time plus six months of home confinement.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.