A Little Rock, Arkansas woman attempting to travel through Phoenix Sky Harbor has been arrested after she allegedly assaulted several TSA officers over apple juice.
Authorities say the incident occurred at around 5:55 a.m. on Tuesday at Terminal 4’s Checkpoint D, after a female traveler allegedly attacked TSA officers during a security screening process. Three TSA agents were injured in the altercation, two were taken to a nearby hospital and were later released.
Court documents report that the woman, 19-year-old Makiah Cherae Coleman, was upset that her over apple juice had been taken from her during the screening because large amounts of liquids aren’t allowed.
“[Coleman] was ranting and raving about the apple juice and walks around the barrier and attempts to grab the bin containing her items being screened from the TSA agent,” read the probable cause statement.
In the chaotic moment, Coleman reportedly climbed a table, hit an agent on the head and ripped his shirt. Agents attempted to restrain her, but she wrested free. After that she punched another TSA agent and pulled on her ponytail during the assault. In addition, the woman allegedly also bit a third agent who tried to stop her.
“Unfortunately, this situation not only resulted in three of our TSA officers being injured, but inconvenienced approximately 450 travelers who had to be redirected to a nearby checkpoint for security screening due to the actions of this traveler,” TSA said in statement.
Phoenix police were called to the scene and took the woman into custody. Coleman faces several misdemeanor assault charges, one count of criminal damage and a low-level felony count of aggravated assault and was being held on a $4,500 bond.
Any traveler who threatens, verbally abuses, or engages with physical violence of any kind against TSA agents will result in criminal penalties and fines of up to nearly $14,000.