Ma’Kiah Cherae Coleman, 19, of Glendale, Arizona, was indicted on May 17, 2023, by a federal grand jury in Phoenix. The six-count indictment included three counts of assault on Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers and three counts of Interference with Airport Security Screening Personnel.
The indictment alleges that, at approximately 6:00 a.m. on April 25, 2023, at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, Coleman interfered with TSA officers who were conducting security screenings at Security Checkpoint D of Terminal 4. The indictment further alleges that during her interference with TSA officers, Coleman inflicted bodily injury on two TSA officers; specifically, she grabbed one officer by the hair, forcing the officer’s head down against a table, and hitting the officer in the head multiple times, and elbowed the other TSA officer in the head. Coleman also is alleged to have bit the hair of a third TSA officer who had come to the aid of the other two officers who were struggling with Coleman during the altercation.
Each conviction for Assault on a Federal Officer resulting in Bodily Injury carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Assault on a Federal Officer with contact and during the commission of another felony carries a maximum penalty of eight years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Each conviction for Interference with Airport Security Screening Personnel carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Coleman has been released from detention on personal recognizance with conditions pending trial.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case with assistance from the Phoenix Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Glenn McCormick, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix, is handling the prosecution.