Startling footage has surfaced of a United Airlines employee pushing down a 71-year-old male passenger inside Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston in 2015 (video below).
In the video, Ronald Tigner approaches the employee, identified as Alejandro Anastasia, near the airline's ticket counter for a new boarding pass, notes KPRC.
William Hoke, a lawyer who represents Hoke, told the news station what happened next:
Anastasia was looking at Mr. Tigner and started smiling and said, "Can't you see we're busy?" and there's no one in the vicinity of these two employees. And he tells Anastasia to wipe that smile off his face. That's when Anastasia says, "I'll kick your [expletives]" and shoves Mr. Tigner to the ground.
Tigner has filed a lawsuit against United Airlines, Anastasia, and a second United employee for negligence.
According to the lawsuit, Tigner suffered "severe personal injuries and damages" and "mental anguish" from the incident which cost him lost wages and medical expenses in addition to leaving him with a “physical disfigurement," reports The Washington Post.
Hoke told KPRC: "This is just one of the most inhumane things I've ever seen in my life."
According to Hoke, his client was unconscious after being knocked down.
"Not one United employee comes to check on him," Hoke stated. "They literally left him there like a piece of garbage."
Finally, an unidentified passenger offered to help as United employees looked on.
"It was a good Samaritan, who was a nurse, that was catching a flight, ran over and said, 'Please, God, someone call 911,'" Hoke said.
An unidentified United employee called 911, but didn't mention the elderly man was unconscious or had been shoved to the ground.
"It's astonishing," Hoke added. "It's outrageous."
Anastasia was charged with a felony of injury to an elderly individual and was required to write an apology letter, go to anger-management classes and pay a fine.
Hoke called for more victims to come forward: "We want people to come forward who've been treated just like Mr. Tigner and like Dr. Dao, any of the other people who've flown United and been treated this way, because it has to stop."
In response to the video, United said that the United employee was no longer working for the company, and that the airline was "reaching out to our customer" two years after the incident:
We have seen the video from 2015 that shows completely unacceptable behavior by a United employee. This employee is no longer with our company. The conduct shown here does not reflect our values or our commitment to treat all of our customers with respect and dignity.
We are taking a thorough look into what happened here and reaching out to our customer to profusely apologize for what occurred and to make this right.