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Airline passenger accused of punching deaf pregnant woman, service dog

Posted at 6:33 AM, May 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-20 06:33:35-04

ORLANDO (WKMG/CNN) – A deaf couple and their two children were flying to Orlando when a woman and her husband allegedly complained about the family’s service dog in a confrontation that turned physical.

The family of Hazel Ramirez was headed to Florida from their Colorado home for a gender reveal party with their 8-month-old Great Dane, Zariel.

Ramirez says the service dog slept through the duration of the 3-hour Frontier Airlines flight then woke up as the plane landed.

When Zariel woke up, Ramirez says a woman complained she had allergies, while her husband, identified as Timothy Manley, complained the dog was taking up too much space.

Police say Manley punched Zariel with a closed fist, causing her to yelp, shake her head and hide under a seat.

“She was hurt and scared for her life,” said Ramirez via Facebook messenger.

Ramirez said she and her husband, Matt Silva, were appalled by Manley’s actions, and Silva confronted the man.

The suspect tried to run away, punching Ramirez in the stomach and pushing her two daughters to the ground, the woman told police.

“I hope he will be arrested,” Ramirez said.

Orlando police at the airport filed an incident report and turned the case over to the FBI. The FBI says they’re still determining if federal charges will be filed.

Officials from Frontier say service animals are permitted on all flights, as long as they are certified and properly harnessed.

Copyright 2018 WKMG, Family photos via CNN. All rights reserved.