Southwest Flight Diverted After Passenger Attempts to Open DoorBy: Jasmine Allen - April 14, 2014
A man’s attempt to exit a Southwest plane while in mid-air left passengers in complete panic Sunday.
Flight 722-which was transporting 134 passengers and five crew members-was en route to Sacramento from Chicago when it was forced to make an unintended stop in Nebraska due to the disorderly passenger.
Witnesses say that Joshua Carl Lee Suggs was acting pretty strangely after the flight took off. Some have even associated his behavior with drugs or a mental illness.
At one point during the flight, he ran to the bathroom and returned to his seat drenched.
The pandemonium didn’t start, however, until Suggs left his seat and made his way to the back of the plane in an attempt to unlatch the door.
One eyewitness tells KCRA-TV that she just new something bad was about to happen.
“You got this bad feeling that [something] wasn’t going right,” said passenger Lori Depalma.”Especially when a bunch of big guys got up and immediately jumped into the aisle and ran to the back of the plane.”
Three gentlemen made their way to the back of the plane after hearing one of the flight attendants scream for help.
“We basically tackled the — I don’t want to say gentleman — but the guy who was back there and pinned him down and restrained him,” said Dr. Scott Porter, who assumed at first that the screams were medically-related.
Passenger Natalie Lee also told the station that she was “glad there were some burly men on the plane” to prevent what could have ended tragically.
Once the plane landed in Nebraska, Suggs was arrested by airport police officers.
He’s charged with interference and will face an Omaha, Neb., judge Wednesday.
The flight eventually arrived safely in Sacramento two hours off schedule.
The FBI plans to look more into the incident.
Image via Wikimedia Commons