Fang Daguo, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China's Yuexiu District Committee, faced fierce public backlash after reportedly beating a China Southern Airlines air hostess during a flight from Hefei to Guangzhou Wednesday, reported Xinhua.
He has been suspended while the local government authorities carry out an investigation.
Fang and his wife, who both smelt strongly of alcohol, had a dispute with the air hostess after the latter suggested they put their carry-on luggage elsewhere as no room could be found in the overhead compartments, a passenger told Xinhua.
Fang grabbed the air hostess's arms after yelling at her, the eyewitness said. "I had no idea if the grab hurt or not, but I saw scratches on her arms."
The air attendant posted photos on Sina Weibo, China's popular equivalent of Twitter, showing bruises on her arms and neck and also her torn clothes.
The publicity department of Yuexiu district said Friday that an investigation showed Fang's wife had a brawl with the air hostess, but denied that Fang beat her.
Fang and his wife apologized to the air hostess for their acts, the department said in a statement.
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