Solicitor seeks to upgrade charges in airport attack

By Linda Looney-Bond


Clayton County Solicitor General Tasha Mosley is seeking to get charges upgraded against a man accused of attacking an airline gate agent at Hartsfield -Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Michael McDonald is charged with misdemeanor simple battery and simple assault, in the incident that occurred Dec. 19, according to Mosley.

"We're trying to upgrade the simple assault to aggravated assault," Mosley said Tuesday. She said aggravated assault is a felony.

According to a warrantless arrest affidavit filed in Clayton County Magistrate Court by the Atlanta Police Department, McDonald "spit in AirTran agent Rita Maxwell's face, then pushed her to the ground, striking her about the body with his fist."

Maxwell told police that McDonald demanded to be placed on a flight, and Maxwell said she was attacked when she told McDonald she could not do that, according to Mosley.

Mosley said Maxwell reported that her shoulder was dislocated in the incident.

"Once we get her medical reports, we're going to transfer it [the case] up to the District Attorney's office to see if the grand jury will bring back an indictment for aggravated assault," Mosley said.

According to Mosley, McDonald told police that Maxwell attacked him. "All of the witnesses contradict what he said," Mosley said.

"She defended herself. He gets in her face, calls her a [expletive], and spits on her, and it's when he spits on her, that she pushed him away," Mosley said.

No attorney was listed for McDonald in online court records.

District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said, Tuesday, that her office will review the case, once it is transferred from the Solicitor General's Office.