Passngers help subdue man who forced emergency landing

10:20 PM, May 8, 2011   |    comments
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St. Louis (KSDK) -- The FBI and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport police are questioning a man, 34, who allegedly tried to open a plane door during a flight from Houston to Chicago.

The plane was diverted to St. Louis.

Police in St. Louis got the call about 1:15 p.m. Sunday that there was a problem aboard Flight 546.

They say the passenger, a man from Burbank, Illinois, apparently got up from his seat, and rushed the front exit door saying he had to get off the plane.

Airport police say a flight attendant and two passengers were able to subdue him and keep him on the floor until the plane could land.

One of those men, Tony Harris describes what happened. He says, "So I go running and I see this guy with his hands on the door and there's two guys trying to hold him and they couldn't, this guy was a bull. So what I did was I just jumped on his back, put him in the choke."

Another passenger, Sonia Cunningham, says, "Americans are not going down like that anymore. The men were all up and out in a minute getting him subdued."

On the ground in St. Louis, squad cars met the plane and police took the man into custody.

"What we were concerned with getting any checked luggage he might have had off the airplane. That's why we sent the squad cars out there. They had to open the baggage compartment. We did retrieve his checked luggage and there was nothing but clothing," said airport police chief Paul Mason.

So far no charges have been filed. The plane eventually continued on to Chicago.











































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