Woman attacked, bit TSA officer for confiscating apple juice at Sky Harbor airport, court records say

Police say 19-year-old Makiah Coleman attacked and injured three TSA officers at a checkpoint at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. (Source: Arizona's Family)
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 4:33 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 26, 2023 at 1:26 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Three Transportation Security Administration officers were allegedly attacked by a woman going through security at Phoenix Sky Harbor on Tuesday morning.

Police say 19-year-old Makiah Coleman attacked the TSA officers around 6 a.m. at Checkpoint D in Terminal 4. Three TSA officers were injured, and the checkpoint was closed. Phoenix Police were soon called to the airport and arrested Coleman. Two TSA officers involved in the attack were taken to the hospital for injuries but were later released.

Police say 19-year-old Makiah Coleman attacked the TSA officers at Checkpoint D in Terminal 4.
Police say 19-year-old Makiah Coleman attacked the TSA officers at Checkpoint D in Terminal 4.(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

In court documents, authorities detailed that Coleman was upset that they took away her apple juice while going through security because large amounts of liquids aren’t allowed through security. She reportedly was then ranting and trying to get her items from the bin from the TSA agent, who then pushed her way. At that point, officers allege that Coleman got on top of the table. Another agent tried to grab her from around the waist when Coleman allegedly elbowed him in the head and caused a concussion. Court papers say the agent’s shirt was ripped, and more employees tried to get her to sit on a bench.

The documents go on to say that a short time later, Coleman gets up, takes off her shirt, grabs an agent by the ponytail, and punches her with her fist three to five times. As the assault continues, another agent tries to get her to pull away, and Coleman reportedly swings at them before biting the agent. In an interview with detectives, Coleman said she was mad about having to leave security to get food and then come back through security. She then said she actually did not bite anyone.

Coleman, who is from Little Rock, Arkansas, now faces several misdemeanor assault charges, one count of criminal damage, and a low-level felony count of aggravated assault. Her bond was set at $4,500.

Arizona’s Family reached out to TSA and received this statement:

According to TSA officials, any threat, verbal abuse, or physical violence toward employees could result in criminal penalties and fines up to $13,910.