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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Suspect Arrested After Flight Attendant Assaulted in Suspected Hate Crime

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According to the Phoenix Police Department, a flight attendant was allegedly assaulted as she exited Phoenix Sky Harbor in the early hours of Friday morning in a suspected hate crime. A suspect in the case had previously been taken into custody.

Brandon Smith, 32, was arrested and charged with four counts of assault and a probation violation. Smith is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on Thursday.

On Friday about 2:15 a.m., the flight attendant was assaulted on a Sky Train platform at 44th Street. The station is near an employee parking area on the airport’s outskirts.

The police agency did not indicate how serious the attack was or what Smith reportedly said to the victim that prompted the investigation into a hate crime.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Phoenix Sky Harbor said of the incident: “The safety and security of our employees and customers is our top priority.”

“We are very concerned about the assault of this employee and we commend her for her bravery and composure which assisted Police in quickly arresting the suspect.”

“We are constantly assessing the security environment at the airport, and we will closely examine what lead to this incident to determine whether additional security measures can and should be implemented.”

Other Sky Harbor flight attendants who were interviewed by local media indicated they didn’t feel secure late at night near the 44th Street station.

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