Monday, May 19, 2008

Woman who assaulted Horizon Air flight attendant is sentenced

Horizon Air logoA woman who assaulted a Horizon Air flight attendant during a flight last August has been sentenced by the U.S. District Court in Seattle. The assailant, identified as Krista Bauer, 23, of Hanford, CA, had pleaded guilty earlier this year to interfering with a flight crew member. An additional assault charge was then dropped.

Bauer was sentenced to 96 days in custody, three years of supervised release and 200 hours of community service. In addition, Bauer was ordered to undergo mental-health and substance-abuse treatment and write letters of apology to Horizon Air and the flight attendant she assaulted, according to a Seattle Times news article about the sentencing.

The incident happened on Aug. 25, 2007, on a Horizon Air flight between Seattle and Billings, MT. According to news reports, Bauer was traveling to Billings to attend her sister's funeral.

Bauer flew from California to Portland, and then to Seattle to catch a connecting flight to Billings, where she was to make funeral arrangements and find care for the dead woman's children. Bauer admitted she drank several glasses of wine on an empty stomach. She said she remembered nothing else until she woke up in the psychiatric ward at Harborview Medical Center the following day.

According to court records, Bauer left her seat on the plane, which was carrying 36 passengers, and walked up the aisle toward the flight deck. A flight attendant told her to return to her seat, which is when Bauer said, "If anyone is going to die tonight, it'll be you," and grabbed the attendant in a headlock. Other passengers had to restrain her, and the flight returned to Sea-Tac.
In addition to her legal sentence, Bauer has been banned from flying on Horizon and its parent airline. An attorney for Horizon told Bauer in court: "You are not welcome on any Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines flight. Should you purchase a ticket, you will be barred from boarding the flight."