Prosecutors say three women assaulted a Delta security guard in New York after he was denied boarding

The three Long Island women — Jordan Nixon, Janessa Torres and Johara Zavala — have been indicted by a federal grand jury on one count each of assaulting an air carrier employee performing security duties, according to the indictment unsealed on Thursday. They were arraigned on Thursday, pleaded not guilty and released on $25,000 bond with a family member as surety.

“As alleged, the defendants violently assaulted an airline security officer by knocking him to the ground with his radio and then kicking and punching him in the face and body while he was down,” said Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. York (EDNY), said Thursday in a press release. “The extreme and aggressive behavior associated with our air travel is out of control,” he continued, saying his office has a “zero tolerance” policy for such violent conduct.

Authorities describe the September incident as saying a gate agent informed the flight crew of the three women’s “belligerent” conduct, and it was determined they could not board the flight, according to the EDNY press release. When a security guard asked him to leave the catwalk, an accused allegedly hit the security guard “repeatedly with his own radio”, and after he fell to the ground, all three allegedly punched him punched and kicked while on the ground, the statement said. .

“The defendants were belligerent, with one appearing visibly disoriented and possibly intoxicated, and another refusing to wear his mask properly,” prosecutors said in the statement.

Federal and state officials alleged that the three women attacked two airline employees. At one point, the gate officer attempted to help the security guard, and an accused allegedly punched the gate officer in the face, the news release said. The charges only reflect the assault on the security guard, according to the indictment.

Deputy FBI Director in Charge Michael Driscoll said the FBI is responsible for apprehending those who assault or threaten the flight crew, adding “we are aggressively tackling this emerging threat and taking all cases seriously.” .

At arraignment Thursday, the judge granted a woman special permission to fly for a prepaid trip to Florida for her birthday on Friday. The government asked the judge to dismiss the claim given his intent to steal and the nature of the case regarding alleged abuse during the trip, but the judge overruled that decision. Defendants must surrender their passports.

The parties have all stated in court that they intend to enter into plea bargains in the interim. The next status conference will take place on February 3.

CNN has reached out to the women’s attorneys for comment.

Attorney Peter Guadagnino said his client Nixon, 21, “maintains her innocence and denies the allegations as outlined in the government indictment”.

Guadagnino added: “We are waiting to see what discovery comes up and if anything is recorded regarding the incident.”

Jacob Mitchell, Zavala’s attorney, declined to comment. The attorney representing Torres could not immediately be reached for comment.

Delta said in a statement, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees and customers, and we have zero tolerance for physical violence at our airports and on our aircraft. We will work fully with those responsible for law enforcement to ensure that this unacceptable conduct is held to account.”

CNN’s Liam Reilly and Lauren del Valle contributed to this report.


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