Flight attendant attack near Phoenix airport may be hate crime

Posted at 2:23 PM, March 28, 2022 and last updated 5:05 PM, July 5, 2023

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix police are investigating an alleged assault of a flight attendant on an airport tram platform as a possible hate crime.

Brandon Smith (Phoenix Police Dept.)

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:15 a.m. Friday at the PHX Sky Train station that connects Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to a light rail stop and a long-term parking lot.

According to the police, the flight attendant had just gotten off a flight and was heading to her car.

Investigators say 32-year-old Brandon Smith attacked the victim. She suffered minor injuries.

They say Smith made a statement to the flight attendant that prompted a “bias crime” investigation.

Police did not elaborate on what was said.

Smith has been booked on assault charges. It was not immediately known Monday if he had an attorney who could speak for him.