Updated: December 30, 2021 11:49:23 am
A passenger was arrested for unruly behaviour in an US airline after a video appeared to show her physically assaulting an elderly man on a Delta flight.
In a video tweeted by ATL Uncensored, the woman was standing in the aisle engaging in a tirade with a senior male passenger sitting on his seat. “Put your f — mask on!” she yelled, cursing at a male passenger as they exchange heated words, while not properly wearing her own mask.
“Sit down, Karen!” the man retorted. “Mask up!” she continued to which he yelled back and asked her to do the same. He also held up a water bottle, saying he was “eating and drinking.”
In the US, the mask mandate requires passengers to wear face masks on airplanes with an exception when they are eating or drinking. The situation escalated when the man called the woman a slur and a flight attendant tried to intervene, as the the woman said she’ll put on her mask when the man puts on his.
According to USA Today, the woman in question reportedly slapped the man in the face. When he slurred again, she appeared to spit on him before being taken away.
The “unruly” passenger was taken into police custody after fight on Flight 2790 travelling from Tampa, Florida to Atlanta on December 23. Atlanta police in a statement identified the passenger as Patricia Yannet Cornwall.
“This disturbance led to the injury of fellow passengers and Delta employees,” according to Atlanta police who took the woman into custody once the plane landed and handed her over to the FBI, which is handling the case.
Delta said in a statement Monday: “Flight 2790 from Tampa to Atlanta was met by law enforcement after an unruly customer disturbance during flight. Situations like these are rare for the vast majority of our customers and Delta has zero tolerance for unruly behavior at our airports and aboard our aircraft.”
Although the nearly two-minute video captured by a third passenger indicates the point of the tirade was masks, the complaint only identified as R.S.M. said the argument escalated after Cornwall invoked Rosa Parks, The Washington Post reported. The man said it was inappropriate for Cornwall to compare herself with Parks, the civil rights pioneer who refused to sit in the back of a segregated Alabama bus.
Cornwall made the Parks remark to a flight attendant while returning from the bathroom after the crew asked her to find an open seat until beverage service was completed, the complaint said.
“What am I? Rosa Parks?” said Cornwall, who is White, according to the complaint. Upon hearing the comment, the complaint said, the male passenger sitting in seat 37C told Cornwall “it was an inappropriate comment and that she ‘isn’t Black … this isn’t Alabama and this isn’t a bus.’ ”
NBC News reported that Cornwall, who made an appearance in the court was “charged with assault while aboard an aircraft”, according to the criminal complaint released Monday and filed in US District Court’s Northern District of Georgia.
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