The California woman accused of invoking the name of Rosa Parks before she is alleged to have assaulted a passenger aboard a Delta flight last week has acting credits on the TV shows “Baywatch” and “Married ... With Children.”
The woman, Patricia Yannet Cornwall, 51, of Pacific Palisades, worked as an actress and entertainer. She landed roles on the small screen and was an NFL cheerleader with the then-Los Angeles Raiders.
Acting credits on Breton’s IMDb page include appearances on an episode of the syndicated lifeguard series "Baywatch" and an episode of the raunchy Fox sitcom "Married ... With Children." An archived version of the IMDb page says both episodes aired in 1996.
Also listed among Breton’s credits on IMDb was a Playboy production titled “Cheerleaders” from 1997.
Breton also joined the Raiderettes on a talk show hosted by Vicki Lawrence, with a YouTube clip of the appearance saying it aired in 1993.
Records from California show that Cornwall was a licensed real estate agent from 2013 to 2017.
After the incident Thursday, Cornwall was charged with assault while aboard an aircraft, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court for Northern Georgia.
The complaint was written by a task force officer with the FBI who is assigned to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Part of the encounter was videotaped by a passenger and used as evidence, the complaint says.
The passenger Cornwall is accused of assaulting was identified only as R.S.M. in the complaint. The incident occurred on Delta Flight 2790 from Tampa, Florida, to Atlanta, according to the complaint.
Nearly two minutes of video recorded by a third passenger indicates that masks were the point of contention. However, the complaint says the argument escalated after Cornwall invoked the name of Rosa Parks, the civil rights pioneer who refused to sit in the back of a segregated Alabama bus.
R.S.M., according to the complaint, told authorities that Cornwall made the Parks remark to a flight attendant as she returned from the bathroom. The flight attendant asked Cornwall to find an open seat until beverage service was completed, the complaint says.
“CORNWALL responded to the flight attendant, ‘What am I Rosa Parks?’” the complaint says. “R.S.M. believed CORNWALL’S comment was inappropriate and he responded to CORNWALL that she ‘isn’t black .... this isn’t Alabama and this isn’t a bus,’” it says.
As the argument escalated, Cornwall and R.S.M. hurled insults at each other; then she “struck R.S.M. with a closed fist, striking R.S.M. about the head, causing visible injury,” according to the complaint, which adds, “CORNWALL then spit in R.S.M’s face and head area.”
Cornwall's attorney did not return multiple calls and email messages for comment Wednesday and throughout the week. Cornwall also did not respond to requests for comment.
Cornwall was detained at the Atlanta airport, where police spoke to Delta workers and the alleged victim, who identified Cornwall as the culprit, the complaint said.
Cornwall was detained when the flight landed, Atlanta police 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. ... FBI agents responded and took custody of Ms. Cornwall,” police said.
Delta said in a statement Monday: “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 behavior at our airports and aboard our aircraft.”
Cornwall appeared in federal court Monday. Court documents show that she was released on a $20,000 bond.
The court ordered Cornwall to surrender her passport and abstain from alcohol and drug use and not to possess guns or other weapons, court records show.
Video originally posted on Instagram shows a woman, whose mask is around her neck and below her chin, speaking to a man sitting in his seat. The video does not show the beginning of the confrontation. The two curse at each other throughout the video.
The woman repeatedly tells the man to put his mask on. At one point, he responds: “You’re a ... Karen. Sit down.” “Karen” is slang typically referring to an entitled white woman. He also points out that the woman’s mask is down before he calls her a vulgarity.
After the woman asks the man whether he called her the profanity, she appears to slap him in the face.
The man responds: “Now you’re going to jail. That’s assault. You’re going to jail as soon as we get to Atlanta.”
The video also shows the man claiming the woman spit on him. Multiple people escort her away from the man.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported last month that 10 passengers were hit with fines totaling $225,287 because of allegations of unruly behavior on flights. In those cases, according to the FAA, passengers shoved flight attendants, used expletives, threw fits and refused to comply with the FAA requirement for masks.
As of last month, the FAA had documented 5,114 reports of unruly passengers and 3,710 reports of refusing to wear masks this year. It said 239 cases led to penalties.
To curb what it has described as a dramatic increase in unruly or dangerous behavior aboard passenger airplanes, the FAA released a public service announcement in August with a simple message: “Unruly behavior doesn’t fly.”