Plane diverted after passenger assaults AA flight attendant

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FILE – This July 8, 1998, file photo shows an American Airlines jet. (AP Photo, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities say an American Airlines flight from New York to California was diverted to Denver after a passenger assaulted a flight attendant.

Flight 976 was heading Wednesday evening from John F. Kennedy International Airport to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana when it landed at Denver International Airport and taxied safely to the gate.

The airline says the passenger was removed and the flight continued on to California.

The flight attendant was reportedly taken to a hospital.

Airline officials say they won’t tolerate “acts of violence” against its employees.

The assault comes amid a surge in unruly airline passengers this year, who sometimes become violent.

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