2 California passengers arrested after fighting with American Airlines gate member at MIA

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Two California passengers have been arrested after they were caught on camera Sunday fighting with an American Airlines gate member at Miami International Airport.

According to police and the airline, the couple wanted to board the plane bound for Los Angeles, but they were told they couldn’t get on, not because they weren’t wearing masks, but because the woman wasn’t wearing shoes.

On Tuesday night, 23-year-old Brittney Mohammadi and 26-year-old Manuel Arteaga, both from California, gave their side of the story.

“We went through TSA, we had everything checked out, they didn’t realize she didn’t have her shoes,” said Arteaga.

When asked in what world is it acceptable to jump on a counter at an airport, Mohammadi said, “OK, and I get that, and I will take 100% responsibility.”

When asked how she didn’t know it wasn’t acceptable to not wear shoes in the airport, she replied, “OK, you know what? I don’t go on the airport that often.”

The mishap began at the American Airlines gate, as the two pleaded their case about why the barefoot Mohammadi should get to fly to Los Angeles. When they were told no, Mohammadi got angry with the gate member until they were told to leave.

Cellphone footage showed Mohammadi getting upset with the gate member, jumping on the counter barefoot, according to police and the airline, in an attempt to strike the employee.

Arteaga encouraged his girlfriend it was time to leave. Miami-Dade Police officers were called to the airport, and the chaos spilled outside.

Another cellphone video showed officers trying to arrest the pair, who they said were drunk and unruly, outside of the terminal.

Police said they resisted, and that’s when Arteaga wrapped his arm around Mohammadi’s neck as officers tried to pry them apart.

“When I had been pulled apart, I had to calm her down,” Arteaga said.

Police said Artega wouldn’t let go and began kicking the officer, causing another officer to do a leg sweep on him to get them both under control before taking them into custody and transporting them to Miami-Dade County Jail.

The two admitted they were drunk.

“We were at Voodoo Lounge. We had tequila,” Mohammadi said.

When asked if she realized that she wouldn’t have gotten in trouble had she not jumped on the counter, Mohammadi replied, “I did realize that, but you know what? People make mistakes.”

Artega is charged with disorderly conduct, battery on a police officer, resisting arrest with violence and resisting arrest without violence, while Mohammadi is charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.

They said they were bruised and treated roughly during the arrest.

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