Atlanta police released a statement late Saturday night on the arrest of the young woman passenger (with her own mask pulled down) on a Delta flight from Tampa to Atlanta Thursday who was seen on video punching and spitting on an older man who was eating and drinking with his mask off. The statement said the woman was taken detained by Atlanta police upon arrival and later taken into custody by the FBI. The statement says several passengers and crew were injured in the disturbance on the plane.
Disturbance Call: Hartsfield Jackson Intl. Airport
Preliminary Information: On December 23, 2021, Atlanta Police responded to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in reference to a disturbance call involving an unruly passenger on a Delta flight from Tampa, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. (Delta flight #2790.) Upon arrival, officers met with Delta employees at gate A11 to await the arrival of the flight. When the aircraft arrived at the gate, officers were able to meet with exiting passengers who advised that the suspect, Ms. Patricia Cornwall had caused a disturbance while in the air. This disturbance lead to the injury of fellow passengers and Delta employees. Based on the statements gathered and visible evidence, officers detained Ms. Cornwall and contacted the on-call FBI agent. The officers then relocated with Ms. Cornwall to the domestic Atlanta Police precinct where FBI agents responded and took custody of Ms. Cornwall. Nothing further to report at this time.
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The FAA has been cracking down on unruly passengers. A meme released this year shows the fine for attacking passengers and crew to be $30,000. The problem of unruly passengers in the COVID era has become so pervasive the FAA has a webpage devoted to the issue.
Unfortunately for Ms. Cornwall, just last month Attorney General Merrick Garland directed U.S. Attorneys to prioritize prosecuting unruly passengers. Excerpt:
This holiday season, millions will travel across the nation and around the world on commercial aircraft. The Department of Justice is concerned about a rise in criminal behavior occurring on commercial flights that endangers the safety of passengers, flight crews, and flight attendants.
Passengers who assault, intimidate, or threaten violence against flight crews and flight attendants do more than harm those employees; they prevent the performance of critical duties that help ensure safe air travel. Similarly, when passengers commit violent acts against other
passengers in the close confines of a commercial aircraft, the conduct endangers everyone aboard.
Federal law prohibits assaults, intimidation, and threats of violence that interfere with flight crews and flight attendants, as well as other enumerated criminal acts that occur during flight. The laws of other jurisdictions may also prohibit criminal acts occurring on commercial aircraft.
…I am directing United States Attorneys to prioritize prosecution of federal crimes occurring on commercial aircraft that endanger the safety of passengers, flight crews, and flight attendants.
A COVID paranoid female passenger on what is reported to be a Delta flight from Tampa to Atlanta Thursday attacked a man for not wearing a mask while he was eating. According to smartphone video posted online, the woman stood in the aisle with her mask dropped to berate the seated man prompting him to respond with profanities that triggered her into violence. Flight attendants tried to intervene, but the woman punched, scratched and spat on the man. The woman was reportedly arrested after the plane landed in Atlanta. Another passenger is heard at the end of the video saying the woman poured hot water on her.
The man tried to explain to the woman he was eating and drinking, at one point holding up an uncapped water bottle. The man called the woman a Karen and a bitch as the two exchanged verbal assaults and profanities. The woman leaned in to attack the man, punching, scratching and even spitting on him, according to the man.
Just before the woman is dragged down the aisle by two large men (passengers, air marshals?) she tells the man, “I won’t put my mask on until you put your mask on.”
Delta flight from Tampa to Atlanta got crazy‼️ pic.twitter.com/I9BZUKv3LB
— ATL Uncensored | Atlanta News (@ATLUncensored) December 25, 2021
Another version posted to Instagram