Airline Employees Fired After Breakup Gets Physical

Police say the couple was caught on video physically fighting in a Denver airport jetway
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2019 6:00 PM CDT

A pair of Republic Airways employees found themselves both arrested and fired after, authorities say, they broke up at the end of a flight and things turned physical. Police say William Thomas, 36, and Marisha Sporer, 29, had just landed at the Denver International Airport on the morning of Sept. 13 when Sporer asked to use Thomas' phone and apparently saw something on it that angered her. After a verbal fight that ended with them breaking up, Thomas allegedly went to sit in the plane's cockpit and Sporer, after initially going to the gate, then returned to the cockpit to confront him. The ensuing jetway altercation was caught on surveillance video, which was first published by FlyerTalk Tuesday after a tipster sent it in. The site says the flight was on a layover at the time.

Police say Sporer grabbed Thomas by his tie and slapped him three times and then Thomas hit her in the ribs. The video appears to show the slaps followed by Thomas punching Sporer's upper body and apparently hitting her face, then walking away, NBC News reports, while ABC News says it appears Thomas spits on Sporer prior to the slaps. Police say both were injured, but were not treated at a hospital; they were booked into jail Sept. 13 and have since been released on bond. They face charges of assault and disturbing the peace—and they lost their jobs, with Republic saying in a statement the behavior was "unacceptable." Fox News notes it's not clear what their jobs were, but says Sporer appears to be dressed as a flight attendant in the video; multiple outlets identify Thomas as a pilot. (Read more assault stories.)

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