A deaf couple traveling to a gender reveal party ended up in an all out brawl in an airport terminal after a man on their flight allegedly punched their service dog. The couple also contends that the man also punched one of the owner’s of the dog, a pregnant woman, in the stomach. The couple now wants charges brought on the man.
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Matthew Silvay and his pregnant fiancee Hazel Ramirez were traveling to Florida with their two small children for a gender reveal party. The flight was uneventful until the plane landed, and that is when Timothy Manley, 59, a nearby passenger on the flight, allegedly punched the family’s Great Dane service dog named Zariel.
Silvay and Ramirez, who are both deaf, saw the man punch their dog, which resulted in the animal yelping and hiding from the man. Understandably, Silvay was irate at the situation and signed angrily at Manley. At one point during the incident, Silvay actually kicked Manley, who was still in his seat waiting to deplane.
The situation would get much worse, though, once everyone got off the plane. According to the Daily Mail, Manley and Silvay continued arguing after they deplaned, and at some point Manley was said to have punched Ramirez who is 20 weeks pregnant.
After punching the pregnant woman, Manley tried to flee the scene and ended up pushing the couple’s two small children down in the process. “They fell and cried so hard,” Ramirez recalled.
This was seemingly the last straw for Silvay as he approached the man and pushed him down as bystanders tried to separate them. Law enforcement did separate the two men when they arrived.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Manley’s wife has dog allergies and complained to her husband about the service dog. Once the plane landed, the dog was said to have stretched near Manley and his wife only to be met with a closed fist.
After speaking with the police, Manley said the service dog “took up more space than [he] felt it deserved.” He then tried to claim he never punched the dog. “My wife was right next to me and has allergies to dogs, and I had to push it away.”
The FBI is now investigating the incident. Neither man was charged at the scene.