A 19-year-old woman named Makiah Coleman is charged with counts of assault, criminal damage, and disorderly conduct after she elbowing, punching and biting three screening officers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Coleman got angry when an officer confiscated her apple juice which is not permitted through screening at the airport’s checkpoint D. She allegedly began “ranting and raving.”
Coleman then tried to grab the bin containing her possessions, but a TSA officer pushed her away.
At this point, Coleman climbed on a table and elbowed a TSA officer in the head and hit him, leaving him with a concussion and ripped shirt.
Coleman was then removed from the area but sat down on a bench and appeared to “cool down.” Then she got up, took off her shirt and began yelling before jumping onto the table again.
Coleman then grabbed a third TSA officer by the ponytail and pulled her down towards the table while “striking her with hammer fist blows.”
Another TSA officer tried to intervene, but Coleman allegedly swung her head down and bit the officer on the head. Coleman was restrained at this point.
Coleman is charged with counts of assault, criminal damage, and disorderly conduct. Her bail is set at $4,500, and she remained jailed on Wednesday morning.
The TSA expressed that such unprovoked physical attacks against their employees are unacceptable, and they would pursue their own enforcement action against Coleman.
Federal authorities have been trying to curb incidents of bad behavior in the aviation system since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, with confrontations frequently flaring up over mask rules that were in place on planes and at airports for much of the outbreak.
The Federal Aviation Administration said this month it had referred 250 incidents to the FBI for potential prosecution.