A passenger traveling aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 722 from Chicago to Sacramento tried to open the rear door of the plane in mid-flight on Sunday roughly an hour after the 10:50 a.m. departure time. Multiple passengers as well as flight attendants worked to subdue 23-year-old Joshua Carl Lee Suggs. According to a federal order, Suggs claimed that he wanted to look out the window and refused to settle in his seat twice, which ultimately led to the plane being diverted and landing at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska.
Flight 722 was transporting 134 passengers and five crew members to Sacramento. Monique Lawler, who was one of the 134 passengers aboard Flight 722, spoke with KABC-TV regarding the ordeal. “Some gentleman just decided that he wanted us to visit the Lord today and open up the back hatch while we were all already up in the air,” Lawler said.
A physician, who was among the 134 passengers, was involved in the process of subduing Suggs. Though not an official medical evaluation, the physician said that Suggs was “altered mentally” and explained that the Suggs had dilated pupils. Another passenger said that while Suggs was able to speak clearly his words were incoherent.
The full breadth of charges have not been released at this time. On Wednesday, April 16th, Suggs is scheduled to appear in the U.S. District Court in Omaha.
The pilot contacted the Federal Aviation Administration prior to diverting the plane and classified the situations as an emergency. The flight eventually landed at the desired destination of Sacramento, California; however the arrival time was two hours off-schedule due to the in-flight emergency.
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Image Via Wikimedia Commons And Courtesy Of Dylan Ashe