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'What Am I, Rosa Parks?': Former 'Baywatch' Actor Charged After Allegedly Attacking Passenger On Delta Flight
Patricia Cornwall allegedly attacked a man on a Delta flight after he called her out for comparing herself to Rosa Parks.
A former "Baywatch” actor and NFL cheerleader is facing federal assault charges after allegedly beating another passenger during a Delta flight who called her a "Karen" after she compared herself to Rosa Parks.
Patricia Cornwall, 51, of Los Angeles, was arrested at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta two days before Christmas following the chaotic flight from Tampa, Florida, the Atlanta Police Department stated in a press release. They said they had responded to “a disturbance call involving an unruly passenger.”
“When the aircraft arrived at the gate, officers were able to meet with exiting passengers who advised that the suspect, Ms. Patricia Cornwall had caused a disturbance while in the air,” police wrote. “This disturbance lead [sic] to the injury of fellow passengers and Delta employees.”
From there, they handed her off to FBI agents.
Cornwall made her first appearance on Monday afternoon in federal court in Atlanta where she did not submit a plea nor was required to, CNN reports. She is accused of "assault by striking, beating, or wounding R.S.M. [the victim] in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States," a criminal complaint, obtained by CNN, states.
In the federal complaint, investigators said they interviewed the victim, a male passenger, and watched a cellphone video of the incident which they say corroborated his story. That passenger alleged that Cornwall was told by a flight attendant to take a spare seat after using the restroom so the attendant could complete beverage service.
Cornwall then allegedly asked the flight attendant, 'What am I, Rosa Parks?'"
Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955 in then-segregated Alabama.
The alleged victim told the FBI that he then "told Cornwall it was an inappropriate comment and that she 'isn't Black....this isn't Alabama and this isn't a bus,'" according to the complaint.
The man also told Cornwall to "sit down Karen," according to the complaint. The pair then got into a dispute, which also involved masks, according to purported video of the event posted by ATL Uncensored. In it, a woman yells at an older man, who has a bottle of water in his hand, to pull up his mask as she is standing in the aisle with her mask down. In that video, a woman can be seen striking the male passenger before making a closed fist.
"Situations like these are rare for the vast majority of our customers and Delta has zero tolerance for unruly behavior at our airports and aboard our aircraft,” a spokesperson for Delta told Oxygen.com in a statement via email on Wednesday morning.
Cornwall, whose stage name is Patty Breton, is a former NFL cheerleader as well as an actor who once had a part in “Baywatch” and “Married with Children,” the New York Post reports. She is currently a real estate agent.
She has had other issues with the law, most recently in November when she allegedly became aggressive with officers after she crashed into a tree in Florida, according to the New York Post. She was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence and careless driving and is due back court in connection with that incident on Jan. 10. Last year, she pleaded no contest to having a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or more in Los Angeles and was sentenced to 36 months of summary probation. Her sister-in-law also filed for domestic violence protection against her last year after Cornwall allegedly threatened to kill her, according to the outlet. That order of protection was granted by a judge.
Cornwall could face up to one year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine. She has posted a $20,000 bond at her arraignment. A judge ruled that she can only fly to return home to Los Angeles. It’s not clear if she has a lawyer.