News, Culture & Society

Delta Airlines ‘Karen’ compared herself to Civil Rights icon before viral fight

Patricia Cornwall (pictured in a mugshot for a DUI) has been arrested for attacking an 80-year-old passenger on a flight 

A woman who was arrested last week for getting into a fight with an elderly man who was not wearing a mask on board a flight had earlier compared herself to Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, according to a criminal complaint filed on December 24.

The complaint, obtained by DailyMail.com, claims Patricia Cornwall was trying to get back to her seat from the bathroom on a Delta Airlines flight from Tampa to Atlanta on Thursday when a flight attendant with a beverage cart was blocking the aisle.

Cornwall, 51, a former Playboy model and Los Angeles Raiders cheerleader, allegedly asked the flight attendant for help getting back to her seat, but the flight attendant told her to just take an open seat until they were done handing out drinks.

At that point, Cornwall allegedly asked, ‘What am I, Rosa Parks?,’ comparing her situation to a Civil Rights icon who refused to give up her seat at the front of a bus in Alabama even though black people were relegated to the back of the bus at the time.

Her comment reportedly got the attention of an 80-year-old man sitting nearby who told her that she ‘isn’t black … This isn’t Alabama and this isn’t a bus.’

He also reportedly told her to ‘Sit down, Karen,’ to which Cornwall replied, ‘Sit down p****.’ 

Soon, the two started a fight that went viral on social media, with Cornwall seen hitting, scratching and spitting at the older male passenger.

She was later arrested at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by Atlanta police, and she was taken into custody by the FBI. She has since been released on a $20,000 bond.

Cornwall was captured getting into a violent altercation with a man on a flight from Tampa to Atlanta on Thursday after he refused to put his mask up

Cornwall was captured getting into a violent altercation with a man on a flight from Tampa to Atlanta on Thursday after he refused to put his mask up

Cornwall repeatedly demanded that flight crew members force the male passenger to put his mask up

Cornwall repeatedly demanded that flight crew members force the male passenger to put his mask up

The older male passenger had been eating at the time when he was approached by Cornwall who told him to 'mask up'

The older male passenger had been eating at the time when he was approached by Cornwall who told him to ‘mask up’ 

In a video of the altercation captured by ATL Uncensored, Cornwall is seen angrily confronting the man for not wearing his mask even though he had taken it off to eat.

‘Put your f***ing mask on,’ Cornwall tells the man as the pair continue to go back and forth with another.

After continuously refusing to comply with her demands, Cornwall then aggressively tells him ‘stand your a** up!’

‘Sit down Karen!’ he yells his response as flight crew members approach the fighting pair in an attempt to get them to calm down.

She then demands the crew to help her as she repeatedly barks ‘Tell him to mask up’

A male flight crew member also demands Cornwall put her mask up as she continues to request that they ask him to put his up.

‘You put your mask down b**ch’ the man responds as her mask is seen lowered below her chin. 

‘Did you call me a b**ch?’ she asks as she gets closer to him.

After he responds ‘Yes I did’ she is then seen punching and scratching him in the face, causing visible injuries, before she spat at him as flight attendant tried to pull her away.

‘Now you’re going to jail’, the man says. ‘That’s assault.’

Cornwall was captured hitting and scratching the passenger during the altercation

Cornwall was captured hitting and scratching the passenger during the altercation

The pair had gotten aggressive over the course of the fight as they shouted expletives at one another

The pair had gotten aggressive over the course of the fight as they shouted expletives at one another

Cornwall also spit on the man as flight crew members attempted to pull her away

Cornwall also spit on the man as flight crew members attempted to pull her away 

 The pair continue to shout expletives at each other as a female flight attendant starts to pull Cornwall away.

She then spits on the man as the attendant and other flight crew members attempt to bring her to the back of the plane.

She continues to ask the flight crew members to get the man to put his mask on as hers still remains under her chin.

‘I will put my mask up when you put your mask up!’ she shouts angrily before being escorted by flight crew as well as other passengers. 

The video has received over seven million views since it was posted to Twitter on Friday.

It remains unclear how the other passengers and flight crew members were injured., and how severe those wounds were.

But following the brief violent interaction, Cornwall was escorted to the back of the plane by flight attendants and was arrested at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by Atlanta police. 

She was charged with assault in Atlanta on Monday, and posted a $20,000 bond at her arraignment, the New York Post reports. A judge ruled that she can only fly home to Los Angeles, where she works as a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Realty.

On Delta’s flights, as on all flights, mask must be worn at all times during the flight except when eating, drinking, or taking oral medication.

The mask must not remain below the nose and mouth for an extended period of time as it must be put on properly in between bites and sips.

The only other acceptable reason for taking it off is to put on an oxygen mask in the event of an emergency or for medical exemption purposes.

Cornwall has spent the past few years working as a real estate agent in California

Cornwall has spent the past few years working as a real estate agent in California

Cornwall was a cheerleader for the then-Los Angeles Raiders in the 1990s

Cornwall was a cheerleader for the then-Los Angeles Raiders in the 1990s

Cornwall was a cheerleader for the then-Los Angeles Raiders in the 1990s (pictured left and right)

Cornwall was a former small-time actress going by the name of Patty Breton and had a minor role in Baywatch (pictured) before becoming a Raiderette

Cornwall was a former small-time actress going by the name of Patty Breton and had a minor role in Baywatch (pictured) before becoming a Raiderette

Cornwall has previously worked as an actress, appearing in an episode of Baywatch under the name Patty Breton. She also had a minor role on Married … with Children in 1989 and was featured in Playboy: Cheerleaders.

And in the early 1990s, the Post reports, Cornwall was a member of the Raiderettes – the cheerleading squad for the then Los Angele Raiders.  

For the past 13 years, she had been working as a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Realty, but she recently moved to Florida, Heavy.com reported and posted on a website looking for a room to rent for $1,200 a month in Okaloosa County, in the Florida panhandle. 

‘Moving from California. I am single divorced and have two grown children who are overseas in UK. I have been practicing residential real estate for 13 years in Los Angeles/Westside. 

‘I have also lived in Florida in the past few years and I’m excited to reintroduce Florida back into my life permanently. Renting a room will be a great start settling me in. Furnished is preferred.’

On her LinkedIn, she describes herself as: ‘Luxury Property Specialist at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties’.

Cornwall had previously been arrested back in November for a DUI. 

Delta's mask policy only allows masks to be below the chin for eating, drinking and taking oral medication but must be put on properly between bites and sips

Delta’s mask policy only allows masks to be below the chin for eating, drinking and taking oral medication but must be put on properly between bites and sips

A survey undertaken last month found 85 percent of flight attendants had been confronted by unruly passengers during the pandemic, the New York Post reported.

It also found that nearly one in five had been attacked.

The FAA has received more than 5,000 complaints about unruly passengers so far this year, and has investigated more than 1,000 incidents – five times more than in 2020. 

Unruly airline passengers in at least 37 incidents could be charged with assault for attacking crew members or other fliers after the FAA announced referrals the federal agency made to the FBI for possible prosecution. 

An FAA spokesman said in November that the agency has initiated 227 enforcement cases and referred 37 to the FBI for review. The agency did not identify any individuals.

Through November 1, there had been 5,033 reports of unruly passenger incidents, including 3,642 related to pandemic face covering regulations.

‘Let this serve both as a warning and a deterrent: If you disrupt a flight, you risk not just fines from the FAA but federal criminal prosecution as well,’ FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said at the time.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk