A woman struck an American Airlines gate agent after she was denied boarding at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Wednesday for refusing to wear a mask, reports the Arizona Republic, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network.
The woman was a passenger on American Airlines flight 2027 from Los Angeles, which according to Flight Aware arrived in Phoenix just before 8 a.m. She was scheduled to connect to Las Vegas. After she refused to wear a mask on the first flight, crew members flagged her itinerary to be denied service in accordance with American's policy on mask wearing.
"After arriving into Phoenix and being informed that they would not be able to take their connecting flight to Las Vegas, the individual became irate and struck an American team member in the terminal," said Curtis Blessing, a spokesperson for American Airlines. "Law enforcement was requested and since this is now a law enforcement matter, we would refer additional questions to the Phoenix Police Department."
Blessing said the gate agent was not injured.
Video of the incident was posted on Twitter. It does not show when the woman was initially denied boarding but picks up as she is delivering a profanity-laced rant near Gate A11. The video ends as police approach her in the gate area.
Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, a spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department, said Phoenix police officers assigned to Sky Harbor responded to Terminal 4 on a report of an assault.
"Officers contacted the victim who informed officers that the suspect had struck him with her hand on his face," Fortune said in a statement emailed to The Arizona Republic.
Fortune said officers arrested Yolanda Yarbrough, 47, for assault.
American, like most U.S. airlines, started requiring customers to wear face coverings while on board aircraft in May. Customers who do not comply may be banned from future flights. American has placed the woman on its "refuse list" pending investigation by its security team.
Sky Harbor Airport also requires passengers to wear masks in the terminal.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: American Airlines passenger refused mask, hit Phoenix gate agent