The identity of the man who defended a mother of two who was hit in the head with a metal stroller when an American Airlines attendant pulled it out of her hands has been released.
A video emerged showing Texas church deacon and insurance agency president Tony Fierro, 42, interceding on behalf of the woman, demanding the name of the flight attendant and almost getting into a fight. “A baby almost got hurt. That’s what just fired me up, so that was it,” Tony said of the April 21 incident, WFAA reports. “I don’t want to make a big deal about it.”
The University of North Texas alumnus is president of K&S Insurance Agency, a position he has held since 1999 after spending two years in finance. Despite what is surely a tough position as K&S president, Tony is also the founder and head deacon of the Crosspoint Community Church in Rockwall, Texas, Daily Mail reports.
He also sits on the board of The Last Well, a charity project that seeks to provide clean water to the people of Liberia.
Tony and his wife, Breann, also fund a scholarship for insurance, finance and media courses at his alma mater. Tony was one of the passengers who witnessed the woman being hit on the head by the metal stroller aboard American Airlines Flight 591 flying from San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth. She started crying as a result.
Footage shot of the incident, which reportedly took place before the plane left the tarmac, shows how Tony reacted to what was happening and interceded with the flight attendant on behalf of the woman. Filmed by passenger Surain Adyanthaya, the woman, who had arrived from Argentina, is seen standing in front of the plane crying as she holds her baby.
She asks airline employees to return her metal stroller as passengers express disgust over how the situation was handled.
Tony decides he is “not going to sit here and watch this” and approaches the flight attendants at the front of the plane, where he confronts them. He asks for the name of the employee who allegedly struck the crying woman. Another passenger, a woman, also tries to intercede. The American Airlines employee who is believed to be the attendant who made the woman cry boards the plane again and is confronted by Tony.
“Hey bud, you do that to me and I’ll knock you flat,” he says, to which the employee responds, saying: “You stay out of this.”
Tony then aggressively steps closer to the airline representative, who challenges him to a fight.
“Try it,” the employee dares. “Hit me. You don’t know what the story is.”
“You almost hurt a baby!” Tony responds.
Adyanthaya said the American Airline crew “just involuntarily escorted the mother and her kids off the flight and let the flight attendant back on, who tried to fight other passengers. The mom asked for an apology and the [airline] official declined.”
The viral video has since prompted the airline company to issue a statement that the offending employee has been suspended following an investigation.