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Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

A Frontier Airlines passenger was arrested for allegedly groping the breasts of two attendants and punching a third before being taped to his seat for the remainder of his flight from Philadelphia to Miami, per multiple reports.

The big picture: It's been an unprecedented year for reports of unruly and violent airline passengers, with the Federal Aviation Administration dealing with hundreds of cases despite announcing in January a new "zero tolerance" policy.

  • Many involve passengers who refuse to comply with pandemic face mask guidelines, but many others concern incidents of violence.
  • The Association of Flight Attendants said in a statement that this latest incident involving a "drunk and irate passenger" who "verbally, physically, and sexually assaulted multiple members of the crew" was "one of the worst examples" of what flight attendants have faced in the past year.

Details: Miami-Dade County Police Department charged Maxwell Berry, 22, with three counts of battery following the incident on Saturday night.

  • Frontier Airlines initially released a statement on Tuesday saying the flight attendants would be "relieved of flying" while the incident was investigated, per the New York Times. But the Association of Flight Attendants accused the airline of suspending the crew as "a knee-jerk reaction to a short video clip."

What they're saying: Frontier said in an emailed statement Tuesday night that it "maintains the utmost value, respect, concern and support for all of our flight attendants, including those who were assaulted on this flight."

  • "We are supporting the needs of these team members and are working with law enforcement to fully support the prosecution of the passenger involved," the statement added. "The inflight crew members’ current paid leave status is in line with an event of this nature pending an investigation."

Go deeper: In-flight tensions at historic high

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Oct 22, 2021 - Science

Debut flight of NASA's next big rocket delayed until 2022

The Orion capsule being stacked atop the Space Launch System rocket. Photo: NASA/Frank Michaux

NASA's Space Launch System rocket won't make its first flight until early next year, the agency announced today.

Why it matters: The SLS is a key piece of technology needed to bring NASA astronauts back to the surface of the Moon in the coming years, and this first flight will mark a major milestone for the program.

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.