Pregnant woman says man punched her and service dog in dispute on plane

ORLANDO, Florida (WABC) -- A deaf woman who is 5 months pregnant says a man punched her in the stomach and hit her service dog during a confrontation on an airplane as it arrived at a Florida airport.

Hazel Ramirez says she and her partner, Matthew Silvay, who are both deaf, were confronted Thursday by Timothy Manley, who objected to their service dog, Zariel, a Great Dane.

Manley says the dog triggered his wife's allergies as the flight from Colorado Springs to Orlando was making its descent.

An Orlando Police Department report says Manley punched the dog, upsetting Ramirez and Silvay, who yelled at Manley. Ramirez says she was punched during a subsequent physical confrontation with Manley.

Manley denied it, saying it was a misunderstanding and that the language barrier made it difficult to explain.

Cell phone video showed the heated exchange continuing near the gate.

Police say Silvay admitted to tackling Manley inside the terminal to detain him until officers arrived.

Officers took statements and referred the case to the FBI. Ramirez says she plans to press charges.

The FBI has yet to determine whether federal charges will be filed.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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