Passenger accused of striking flight attendant, diverting plane to Cincinnati

A federal grand jury has charged an Ohio man with striking a flight attendant and causing a plane to be diverted to a Northern Kentucky airport.

Donald Zuppo of Youngstown, Ohio, was indicted this week on charges of assault and interfering with a flight attendant.

Frontier Airlines Flight 1864 from Phoenix and bound for Cleveland was diverted to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport on March 20 after Zuppo struck the flight attendant in the face, according to the indictment.

The indictment says Zuppo “knowingly interfered with the duties of the flight attendant,” who is identified only by the initials “B.Q.”

Previous news accounts did not identify the unruly passenger but only said that the person was removed from the aircraft by law enforcement.

Flight 1864 continued on to Cleveland after the passenger was removed.

Zuppo faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and supervised release of up to three years.

"You don't put your hands on my flight attendant!" Watch as an American Airlines flight crew tackles and restrains a Lexington, Ky., man after a flight to Charlotte. Michael Kerr is accused of intoxication, disruptive behavior and assault.