MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — At least two people were arrested after a brawl broke out between passengers and police at the Miami International Airport Monday night.
The shocking fight, which was caught on camera, happened in the middle of terminal H around 6:30 p.m. local time. Eyewitnesses told NewsNation that a passenger’s flight got delayed 12 hours before it was then canceled. The passenger then got upset, taking the keys to an airport golf cart and refusing to give them back to an airport employee. Then chaos broke out as the passenger began arguing with police.
In the footage, an officer held a passenger in a headlock as more officers arrived to control the crowd and bystanders gathered around the scene. In the midst of the turmoil, a police officer pulls out what appears to be a gun.
Miami police confirmed that two men, Mayfrer Gregorio Serranopaca and Alberto Yanez Suarez, were arrested and charged with battery. During the scuffle, Serranopaca bit one of the officers on the head, according to Miami-Dade police. Serranopaca was treated for injuries and released at the scene.
This comes just weeks after the Transportation Security Administration issued a stern warning to those who would behave disruptively or violently in airports across the country. Violence on planes has spiked in recent months, notably during the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent mask mandates.
This year alone, the Federal Aviation Administration has tallied at least 5,553 unruly passenger reports. Of those, 3.998 were mask-related incident reports.
Miami International Airport Director and CEO Ralph Cutié responded to the incident report, telling NewsNation in part:
“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.Miami International Airport Director and CEO Ralph Cutié