Passenger slaps elderly man and spits in his face in row over mask on flight

An airline passenger was arrested after she was filmed physically assaulting an elderly man, making his cheek bleed in an apparent dispute over masks.

Numerous passengers complained about the "disturbance" caused by Patricia Cornwall on a Delta Air Lines flight from Tampa, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia on 23 December, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

Footage of the incident shows Ms Cornwall standing over a seated elderly male passenger and telling him to “mask up”.

However, Cornwall – who was dubbed a 'Karen' – was not wearing a mask throughout the dispute.

The elderly man told Cornwall that he was eating so couldn't have his mask on – at which point, she appeared to slap him in the face.

The man yells: “Now you’re going to jail! That’s assault!”

A flight attendant grabbed Cornwall's arm and tried to restrain her as she went to punch him, but when she couldn't strike her blow, she spat in his face.

A second flight attendant then pushed a coffee cart into the woman, attempting to move her away.

But the man started kicking off too and staff ended off having to restrain both of them as they started waving their arms and cursing at each other.

Eventually, a third flight attendant is finally able to take control of Cornwall and pull her away.

However, the male passenger was bleeding from his cheek.

Police have not announced whether any charges will be brought up against Ms Cornwall.

Atlanta Police Department said in a statement: "This disturbance led to the injury of fellow passengers and Delta employees.

“Based on the statements gathered and visible evidence, officers detained Ms Cornwall and contacted the on-call FBI agent.

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"The officers then relocated with Ms Cornwall to the domestic Atlanta Police precinct where FBI agents responded and took custody of Ms Cornwall.”

Delta Air Lines told 11 Alive: "Flight 2790 from Tampa to Atlanta was met by law enforcement after an unruly customer disturbance during flight.

“Situations like these are rare for the vast majority of our customers and Delta has zero-tolerance for unruly behaviour at our airports and aboard our aircraft.”

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