Travel News

Woman shoved to ground at Atlanta airport by police – before spitting, urinating and stripping off

Simon Calder’s Travel

A dramatic arrest on an airport runway has been captured on video, with a “disorderly” woman being pushed to the ground after running onto the tarmac in the US.

The poor behaviour continued when she was taken into police custody, with police reporting that she took off her clothes, spat at officers and urinated on herself.

Atlanta Police Department identified the woman in the video as Lezlie Hernandez Zapata.

The incident took place on the morning of 5 February, when officers assigned to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport responded to a “disorderly customer” at gate E1.

Ms Zapata was told that she would be denied boarding due to her behaviour, according to the police, and as officers escorted her back to the terminal she refused to get into a police vehicle and ran away.

“Officers quickly caught up to Ms Zapata, pushed her to the ground and took her into custody, without further incident,” said a statement from Atlanta Police Department.

“Ms Zapata was transported to the airport precinct where EMS [emergency medical service] was requested to evaluate her.”

Despite the shove captured on video and widely shared on social media, police said Ms Zapata had “no apparent injuries and was cleared to be transported to jail”.

One video of the runway arrest on Twitter/X has been view almost 400,000 times.

While being held by police, she reported “spat on multiple officers, urinated on herself, and removed the majority of her clothing”, before being transported to Clayton County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of law enforcement officers.

The Independent has contacted Atlanta airport for comment.

It’s not the first time a passenger has been filmed sprinting onto an airport runway.

A woman was arrested after running out onto the tarmac at Canberra Airport in Australia, in an apparent attempt to flag down a plane from leaving without her.

The “bizarre” incident was filmed by shocked onlookers, with one stating: “People were a bit flat-footed, they didn’t seem to know what to do, that was the weird part.”

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