A suspect has been taken into police custody after she reportedly attacked several employees at the Tampa International Airport in late April. Law enforcement officers say the woman began to behave strangely, then reacted violently towards members of staff and a Homeland Security agent who attempted to help her.
According to the reports filed by Florida law enforcement officials in connection with the incident, the suspect had traveled to Tampa on a flight from Puerto Rico. In an affidavit describing the arrest, police say the 39-year old woman had arrived from San Juan on a JetBlue aircraft. The defendant is accused of beginning to "act irrational" after stepping off the plane, attracting the attention of several airport employees.
When the alleged victims attempted to render aid to the woman, who was causing a scene at the gate, she became "argumentative," responding to their attempts to calm her down as a threat, shoving one of the JetBlue staffers to the ground and punching the second. Neither victim is believed to have been seriously injured in the incident.
Federal Agent Reported To Have Sustained Scratches in Scrap
An agent with the Department Homeland Security who had witnessed the commotion rushed to help diffuse the situation, police claim, and was also attacked by the defendant. He was reportedly struck violently by the woman, and suffered several gashes across his head and face from her fingernails.
After a brief struggle, the Homeland Security officer and several bystanders were able wrestle the defendant to the floor, where they restrained her until airport security was able to arrive. Police officers placed the woman under arrest, taking her into custody and booking her into the Hillsborough County jail. She is believed to have been charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery, as well as one count of felony battery on a law enforcement officer. The alleged assaulter is being held in lieu of posting a $3,000 bond.
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