Woman charged with assault after altercation on Delta flight goes viral

A woman went viral on social media for all the wrong reasons last week after a violent dispute on a commercial airline flight ended with her being criminally charged. Now, more details have emerged about her past.

According to Fox News, it was 51-year-old Patricia Cornwall, a former actress, cheerleader, and model, who gained newfound fame after she punched and spit on another passenger on a Delta flight just before Christmas. And as it turns out, this isn’t Cornwall’s first run-in with the law.

Violent outburst in the air

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the most recent incident occurred on a Dec. 23 flight from Tampa, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. Cornwall was reportedly returning to her seat from the bathroom when she found the aisle blocked by a beverage cart.

When asked by an attendant to sit an open seat at the rear until all beverages had been handed out, Cornwall reportedly snarked, “What am I, Rosa Parks?”

That prompted a nearby passenger, later identified as Russell Miller, to remind Cornwall that she “isn’t Black,” adding, “This isn’t Alabama and this isn’t a bus.”

Caught on camera

That’s when things grew heated. Cornwall began to curse and shout at Miller, who yelled back at her, before Cornwall punched the man and spit on him. The incident was finally brought under control when another passenger, a former bouncer, took control of Cornwall and escorted her to the rear of the plane for the remainder of the flight.

After landing in Atlanta, Cornwall was taken into custody by local police and then turned over to the FBI, since federal law enforcement has jurisdiction over commercial flights.

She has since been charged federally with assault on an airplane and faces up to a year in prison plus a fine. She was ultimately released on a $20,000 bond.

A rough year for her

According to Fox, Cornwall, formerly known publicly as Patty Breton, was a member of the Raiderettes, the cheerleading squad for the then-Los Angeles Raiders NFL team, and later was a Playboy model before making appearances as an actress in 1996 on Baywatch and Married … With Children.

In November, she was involved in a suspected drunk driving accident in November, and she was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in December 2020. That same year, she was hit with two separate restraining orders, including from her stepfather and mother and later from her sister-in-law.

In both of those instances, she had reportedly made threats of violence against her family members and prompted fears that she would hurt or kidnap them or their children.

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