The Department of Justice announced it is charging three women who allegedly attacked an airport security officer and a gate agent at John F. Kennedy Jr. Airport in New York City in September.
Prosecutors said that a Delta Air Lines gate agent refused to let Jordan Nixon, Janessa Torres, and Johara Zavala board their delayed flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, because of their unruly behavior.
One of the women was “visibly disoriented and possibly intoxicated,” while another refused to wear her mask correctly. After the three women refused to calm down, the gate agent called a security officer for assistance.
One of the women grabbed the officer’s radio and struck him with it multiple times. When the gate agent tried to intervene, another one of the women punched them in the face. The women then proceeded to kick the security officer while he was on the ground.
Members of the flight crew managed to pull the officer onto the jetway and held them closed while the women continued their tirade.
The gate agent and security officer had to be hospitalized with unknown injuries and have not returned to work since the violent assault.
“The extreme and aggressive behavior in connection with our air travel is out of control. This Office has zero-tolerance for violent conduct that threatens the safety of airline passengers and employees and will prosecute defendants who allegedly engage in such conduct to the fullest extent of the law,” Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
If convicted, the women face up to ten years in prison.