Three women allegedly beat a Delta security officer at John F. Kennedy International Airport ahead of a scheduled flight to Puerto Rico, officials said Thursday.
Jordan Nixon, 21; Janessa Torres, 21, and Johara Zavala, 44, were arrested Thursday morning in connection with the Sept. 22 incident, KTLA sister station WPIX reported.
The three are accused of beating the security officer with his own radio, knocking him down and repeatedly punching and kicking him in the face and body while he was down, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said.
“The extreme and aggressive behavior in connection with our air travel is out of control,” Peace said in a press release. “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.”
Nixon, Torres and Zavala refused to leave a jetway at JFK after they were told they could not board a flight, allegedly because one woman appeared to be visibly disoriented and another had refused to properly wear her mask, according to court filings.
The women had also allegedly attacked another employee who tried to help the security officer. Both workers needed to be treated at a hospital for their injuries.
The three women are now facing possible federal charges. If convicted, the defendants could serve up to 10 years in prison, per the press release.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said airline workers need to be safe.
“The defendants allegedly attacked two airline employees, who were simply doing their jobs,” Katz said. “The friendly skies must not turn into chaos and turmoil because some passengers refuse to abide by the rules.”