Woman Seen on Video Hitting Plane Passenger Charged With Assault ( Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
By Jack Gournell | Tuesday, 28 December 2021 07:47 PM
A woman seen on video yelling at and hitting a man on a Delta flight from Tampa, Fla., to Atlanta because he was not wearing a mask while eating has been charged with assault, The Epoch Times reports.
Patricia Yannet Cornwall, identified as a resident of California, was charged with assaulting by striking, beating, or wounding, according to the Times. She could face a fine or up to a year in jail if convicted.
In the video, posted to Twitter by ATL Uncensored, Cornwall is telling a male passenger to wear his mask while she has her own mask under her chin.
"I'm eating," the man responds.
Federal regulations require airline passengers to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 except in such instances as when they are eating or drinking.
The man points out that she is also not wearing her mask, and Cornwall says she'll put hers on when he does so.
"Sit down, Karen!" he tells her at one point, alluding to the disparaging name for white women who use their position in society to get their way.
As flight attendants try to break up the feud, Cornwall appears to strike the man on the side of the face, and he says, "Now you're going to jail. That's assault." As she is pulled away from him she gets in his face, and he says she spat in his face. That, he said, is assault again.
The complaint and sworn affidavit filed by FBI Task Force Officer Rudyard Jarrard makes no mention of the specific words in the video, though it does mention the argument.
According to the document, the incident began when Cornwall complained that the beverage cart was blocking her way as she returned from the bathroom.
When the flight attendant asked her to find an open seat until beverage service was complete, Cornwall reportedly responded, "Who am I, Rosa Parks?"
At that point the male passenger, only identified as R.S.M., found her response inappropriate and told her that she "isn’t black … this isn’t Alabama and this isn’t a bus."
At that point, Cornwall turned on RSM, and after the two exchanged words, she struck him in the face, causing visible injury and spat in his "face and head area."
She was restrained for the rest of the flight.
Cornwall was released on $20,000 bond on Monday, according to court records.