A one-count indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn on Thursday said Jordan Nixon, 21, Janessa Torres, 21, and Johara Zavala, 44, are charged with assaulting an airline security officer in a jetway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. They were arrested in the morning and were scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Vera Scanlon, according to a release from the Justice Department.
"The extreme and aggressive behavior in connection with our air travel is out of control," said Breon Peace, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York. "This office has zero tolerance for violent conduct that threatens the safety of airline passengers and employees."
One woman allegedly struck an airline security officer repeatedly with his own radio after refusing to leave the jetway, according to court filings. Another woman "punched" a second Delta employee who came to assist the other, prosecutors said.
The women then began to punch and kick the airline security officer in the "face and body" while he was on the floor, the indictment said. Both employees were later treated at the hospital for their injuries, the DOJ said.
The three defendants were denied boarding for a flight to San Juan after one appeared "visibly disoriented and possibly intoxicated" and another refused to wear a face mask "properly," court filings said.
Surveillance video at the airport showed the women had approximately nine alcoholic beverages between 9:00 a.m. and 12:55 p.m., when their flight was scheduled to take off, according to court filings.
The defendants face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Attorney information for the women was not available.
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