A plane passenger allegedly punched a deaf pregnant woman in her stomach during an altercation that started with a complaint about her family’s service dog, police in Florida said.
Video taken inside Orlando International Airport, where the flight from Colorado Springs, Colorado, landed, captured two men chasing each other around the terminal on Thursday. It also showed the pregnant woman’s fiance, whom the police named as 30-year-old Matthew Silvay, tackling passenger Timothy Manley, 59, to the ground. Silvay is also deaf, according to police.
According to the police report obtained by HuffPost, the hostilities first began when Manley’s wife, 56-year-old Petrini Manley, complained about being allergic to dogs during the plane’s descent.
When the plane landed and the dog stood up, the report says, Manley said the Great Dane took up more space than it deserved “and punched it with a closed fist, causing it to yelp.” The dog, named Zariel, shook her head and then went under a seat, prompting her owners to begin yelling at Manley, according to the report.
Silvay’s fiancee, 21-year-old Hazel Ramirez, who is 20 weeks pregnant, said things escalated when Manley punched her in her pregnant belly. In the police report, officers note that Ramirez is “visibly pregnant” and that Manley allegedly touched Ramirez and Silvay’s two children, who were traveling with them.
“That’s when my fiancé just became furious, because he put his hands on me and the kid and the dog,” Ramirez told Orlando station WFTV through a sign language interpreter.
WFTV This Great Dane service dog was allegedly punched by an airline passenger who was upset about its large size.
Petrini Manley told the station that the incident was all a misunderstanding and that her husband hit the dog by accident. Her adult son who was flying with them shot video onboard the plane that she said shows Silvay kicking her husband as he’s seated in his chair.
Because both Ramirez and Silvay are deaf, she said, her husband wasn’t able to explain that what happened was an accident. She accused Silvay of being the aggressor.
Off the plane, the passengers’ feud appeared to escalate.
Phillip Moreno, who works at the airport, shot video of the scene, which he described as total chaos to Orlando’s WESH-TV.
“I saw a woman, I couldn’t really understand what she was saying,” he said. “She was freaking out. And I couldn’t figure out why this man was chasing another man.”
In one part of the video, Silvay is seen tackling Manley to the ground. Silvay later admitted to grabbing him because, he said, Manley was refusing to stay at the scene before authorities arrived. Officers noted in their report that Manley tried walking away upon their arrival.
Manley’s wife told WFTV that the way Silvay was acting made it seem like he was trying to hold them hostage.
Both families were interviewed by responding officers and declined medical attention. Because the incident took place on a plane, the case is being turned over the FBI, The Orlando Sentinel reported.
The police report noted that Ramirez does wish to press charges.