A woman who slapped a fellow passenger during an outburst while on a flight from Tampa to Atlanta on Thursday has been arrested by the FBI.
Video of the incident showed the woman – later identified as Patricia Cornwall – causing a “disturbance” midair that led to the “injury of fellow passengers and Delta employees,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement.
“Put your f–king mask on!” Cornwell yells while standing above an older man sitting in his seat while her own mask rests below her chin.
“I’m eating and –,” the man responds before being interrupted by the erratic woman.
“Don’t you dare talk to me like that,” she yells.
“God damn it,” the man says. He appears to try standing up, but immediately sits back down. “I’ll talk to you any f—king way I want to.”
“Stand your ass up,” she yells again, in an apparent attempt to goad the man into becoming physical. At this point, a flight attendant gently grabs Cornwell’s arm to try and deescalate the situation.
“Sit down, Karen!” the man fires back. “You’re a god damn Karen. Sit down.”
“Mask up! Tell him to mask up,” she shouts as another flight attendant tries to calm her down.
“I’m eating and drinking,” the man responds, holding up an open bottle of water. “You’ve got your mask down, b—tch.”
“What did you call me?” Cornwell says just before slapping the man in the face.
“Now you’re going to jail. That’s assault. You’re going to jail,” he says. The female flight attendant is then seen holding Cornwell’s clenched fist back.
“As soon as we get to Atlanta, you’re going to jail, Karen,” the man continues, at which point the woman spits in his face.
As the female flight attendant pulls the woman toward the back of the plane, the male flight attendant uses the beverage cart to push her.
Cornwell grabs the man’s face and yells, “You f—king piece of sh-t.” Blood is visible on the man’s cheek afterward.
She continues to yell about the man’s mask, demanding that the flight crew force him to put on his mask. What appears to be several large male passengers then help the flight attendants take Cornwell to the back of the plane.
At the end of the clip, the woman recording says Cornwall “went crazy on the airplane, punched this man in the face, spit on him, scratched him (and) poured hot water on my leg.”
“Based on the statements gathered and visible evidence, officers detained Ms. Cornwall and contacted the on-call FBI agent,” Atlanta PD said. “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.”