Woman Could Receive 20 Years Behind Bars Over Mask-Related Argument On Plane

A Texan woman is set to receive a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars for engaging in a mask-related argument on an airplane. 

Debby Dutton, 50, from the area of Cypress, has stood before a Houston federal court after reportedly attacking a flight attendant while onboard a United Airlines flight from Alaska to San Francisco on June 29.

During the trip, one of the crew members noticed that Dutton’s sleeping husband’s mask had fallen off his face, so she tapped him on the shoulder to tell him to put it back on before landing, which he did without hesitation.

Currently, there is a federal mask mandate in the country, and it must be followed by all airlines.

According to the CDC, this ‘order applies to all indoor areas of all transportation hubs in the United States and US territories, except those operated by the US military’ and it includes ‘commercial airports; general aviation airport buildings with commercial flights; bus terminals; all commercial vessel terminals; train and subway stations; seaports; U.S. ports of entry; and dedicated ride-share pick-up locations’.

However, Dutton had a problem with how the flight attendant approached her husband, according to The Independent. 

She is said to have started an argument with the crew member, saying: ‘You don’t touch my husband, why you wake him!’ after which she pushed them a number of times. 

As a result, the flight attendant received injuries and bruises, for which they had to be treated by medics. 

Court reports revealed the following:

‘The passenger asked his wife Dutton to return to her seat, which Dutton eventually did. The flight attendant immediately reported the incident to the captain.’

The United States Department of Justice wrote the following in a press release:

‘Broadcasts announced that passengers must wear their masks at all times and further advised the passengers that their masks will likely fall off and, if while asleep, a flight attendant will wake them up to put their masks back on, which may upset them.’

The angered wife is said to have been charged with one count of interference by assault, threat, or intimidation with flight staff. She could potentially receive a maximum of 20 years behind bars as well as a fine.

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