The woman who was identified as Patricia Yannet Cornwall was charged with assaulting by striking, beating, or wounding; a crime which is punishable by a fine and/or up to one year in jail if found guilty. Records from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office show Cornwall is a California resident.
According to the complaint and sworn affidavit from FBI Task Force Officer Rudyard Jarrard, the incident happened during the flight from Tampa, Florida, to Atlanta, Georgia. The disputes were started over a beverage cart blocking the aisle.
“Who am I, Rosa Parks?” Cornwall responded when the flight attendant asked her to find an open seat until beverage service was completed. The male passenger—who is identified as R.S.M. in the complaint—seemed to think that Cornwall’s response was inappropriate, and told her that she “isn’t black … this isn’t Alabama and this isn’t a bus.”
Cornwall then turned on the male passenger and ended up striking his head with a closed fist and causing visible injury. She also spat in the passenger’s face and head area. She was taken by the flight security and restrained for the remainder of the flight, reads the complaint.
Cornwall was released on Monday after a $20,000 bond was posted, court records show. A federal public defender, Mildred Geckler Dunn, was assigned as her attorney.
A snapshot of Patricia Yannet Cornwall. (The Walton County Sheriff’s Office)The complaint doesn’t mention any disputes over masking during the altercation. However, a video clip that captured the event shows an argument about masks being part of the feud.
Delta flight from Tampa to Atlanta got crazy‼️ pic.twitter.com/I9BZUKv3LB
— ATL Uncensored | Atlanta News (@ATLUncensored) December 25, 2021
Cornwall can be seen in the video—with her mask under her chin—telling the male passenger “Wear your [sic] mask?”
“I’m eating,” the passenger can be heard responding.
“Sit down, Karen!” the passenger can be heard shouting at Cornwall once during the video.
R.S.M. and at least another passenger reminded Cornwall to wear her mask during the event. He can be heard swearing while telling Cornwall to wear her mask.
Cornwall punched him right after.