A passenger on a Delta Air lines flight was bitten by another passenger’s emotional support dog.
The incident happened Sunday during boarding of Flight 1430 at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, on a Boeing 737-900ER bound for San Diego.
“During the boarding process, a passenger’s emotional support animal bit another passenger,” said Delta spokesman Anthony Black. The dog was sitting on its owner’s lap in the middle seat, while the victim was seated in the window seat next to him.
The incident was first reported by Fox 5, which quoted a passenger who said: “The gentleman’s face was completely bloody…. his shirt was covered in blood.”
The flight was delayed while both passengers and the dog got off the plane.
A police report said the victim, Marlin Termaine Jackson of Daphne, Ala., was transported to the hospital “in stable condition, but severe injury to the face due to several dog bites.”
The police report listed the dog’s owner, Ronald Kevin Mundy Jr. of Mills River, N.C., as a military service member with the U.S. Marine Corps who “advised that the dog was issued to him for support.” The dog is listed in the police report as a “chocolate lab pointer mix.”
The dog was secured inside a dog crate and released to Mundy, who was not charged, according to the police report. He was allowed to fly with his dog in the kennel, according to Delta.
When asked whether the incident may influence any change in policies, Black said: “We are currently examining the details of the event but have no updates at this time.”
Delta’s website says it “complies with the Air Carrier Access Act by allowing customers traveling with emotional support animals or psychiatric service animals to travel without charge” if they comply with certain conditions and provide required documentation.
The animal “must be trained to behave properly in public settings as service animals do,” according to Delta’s website. “A kennel is not required for emotional support animals if they are fully trained and meet same requirements as a service animal.”