A white woman who was shown on video attacking an 80-year-old passenger during a recent commercial flight is being investigated by federal law enforcement officials.
Patricia Cornwall, a realtor and former NFL cheerleader, was taken into federal custody last week after her mid-flight meltdown aboard a flight from Tampa to Atlanta. According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, the incident began when Cornwall — who is being called "Delta Karen" — was returning from the restroom when she "encountered a flight attendant working the beverage cart, blocking the aisle." As reported by the outlet, "Cornwall allegedly asked the flight attendant for help finding her seat and was told to find an open seat until beverage service was over, because it was a short flight."
That's when things reportedly took a turn, as and Cornwall responded to the flight attendant, "What am I Rosa Parks?" An 80-year-old passenger then hopped in, telling Cornwall she "isn't Black ... this isn't Alabama and this isn't a bus."
The documents claim Cornwall turned her attention towards the passenger, who also told her to "sit down Karen," and began hurling insults at the man before ultimately physically attacking him.
In footage of the incident, that has since gone viral, Cornwall is shown telling them man, "Put your f***ing mask on."
After he refused to comply, a maskless Cornwall is shown telling him to "stand your a** up," to which he replies, "Sit down Karen!" During this time, flight crew members are shown approaching the two in an attempt to calm the situation down. However, tensions rise as Cornwall demands that the crew, "Tell him to mask up!"
While a flight crew member tells Cornwall to put on her mask, the 80-year-old passenger tells Cornwall, "You put your mask [on], b**ch." She then responds, "Did you call me a b***h?"
After the passenger doubles down on his comment, saying, "Yes I did," Cornwall is shown hitting him and spitting in his face.
Cornwall was then taken into police custody upon arrival at the airport.
The Atlanta Police Department told TMZ "both passengers and Delta employees were injured" during the altercation. Authorities also said they detained Cornwall and "contacted the FBI after gathering statements and observing visible evidence." She was later taken into federal custody.
Cornwall's flight attack isn't her first run-in with the law. Just last month, she was arrested for DUI after crashing her car into a tree in California, TMZ. According to the outlet, when Sheriff's deputies arrived on scene, Cornwall "became belligerent, refusing to ID herself." At one point she even "went after" after officials.
"Once we stopped her she tried to fight us. At that point, she was detained for her safety and ours," read the police report.
Cornwall's breath reportedly "smelled of alcohol, she had slurred speech and her face was flushed." She refused to take a breathalyzer and failed the field sobriety test.
Her court date is set for January 5th.