The week of Christmas got off to a shocking start in Miami when an altercation between a law enforcement officer and a belligerent passenger erupted at Miami International Airport.
The conflict ignited inside one of the airport waiting areas and quickly escalated, with the passenger biting the officer on the head and the officer pulling his gun on him in return.
The brawl ensued after the passenger became angry that his flight was delayed. See video of the conflict below.
According to witnesses, things touched off when passenger Mayfrer Gregorio Serranopaca jumped in front of an employee golf cart and then disabled it by breaking the keys, demanding to speak to someone about the flight delay.
Things immediately erupted when officers arrived as Serranopaca became aggressive.
The officer put Serranopaca in a headlock to attempt to subdue him. As a crowd gathered things became even more violent, escalating to the point Serranopaca bit the officer on the head.
Once the officer broke free from the mob, he pulled his gun on Serranopaca and the crowd that had surrounded the two men. He told local media he feared for his life and the safety of his colleagues.
But other videos which showed the moment the altercation touched off struck many as another example of overreaction on the part of law enforcement.
The videos show Serranopaca trying to talk to the officer, who instead turns to leave. Serranopaca then grabs the officer's arm, telling him, "Listen to me" in Spanish. The officer then lashes out, punching Serranopaca several times, and the chaos ensues.
Later, as he tried to arrest Serranopaca, a second man, Alberto Yanez Suarez, became involved, attempting to prevent the officer from doing so. Both have been charged with crimes, including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, burglary, false imprisonment and inciting a riot for Serranopaca and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence for Suarez.
On Twitter, people were sharply divided over who was at fault in the melee, with some feeling the officer clearly instigated the brawl.
But others felt strongly that Serranopaca's charges are justified.
The Transportation and Security Administration recently reported a pronounced uptick in so-called "unruly passengers" in recent years, and has announced a new zero-tolerance policy that includes fines, jail time and being banned from flying by airlines.