Flight From Chicago Diverted After Man Attempts Mid-Air Exit

Pilot put plane down at Eppley Airfield in Omaha because of an "unruly" passenger

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    A man removed from a California-bound Southwest Airlines aircraft after he allegedly tried to open a door during flight was charged Monday with interfering with the crew. The plane was diverted to Omaha, Neb., on Sunday, so that 23-year-old Joshua Carl Suggs could be removed after the incident happened about an hour into the flight. (Published Monday, April 14, 2014)

    A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Sacramento was forced to make an unscheduled stop in Nebraska on Sunday after a passenger reportedly tried to make an abrupt midair exit.

    Video recorded by a producer from NBC station KCRA in Sacramento shows authorities removing the man from Flight 722 after the pilot put the plane down at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb.

    Flight Diverted After Man Tries to Exit Mid-Air

    [DFW] Flight Diverted After Man Tries to Exit Mid-Air
    Pilot put plane down at Eppley Airfield in Omaha because of an "unruly" passenger. (Published Monday, April 14, 2014)

    Witnesses said they heard screaming coming from the back of the plane. A flight attendant was yelling, "Help me! Help me!" as the man attempted to jump out of the plane through a rear door.

    A doctor and other passengers reacted.

    "I ran to the back of the plane. At that point in time I was joined by about two other people," Dr. Scott Porter said. "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."

    Another passenger, Monique Lawler, told KABC-TV in Los Angeles that she saw the man acting strangely during the flight. At one point he came out of the bathroom soaking wet, she said.

    The flight with five crew members and 134 passengers arrived safely in Sacramento about two hours behind schedule, the airline said in a statement.

    No injuries were reported.

    A representative with the Omaha Airport Authority said the FBI was looking into the incident. Jan Sharp, the chief of the General Crimes Unit for the United States Attorney’s Office in Nebraska, said no criminal complaint had been filed as of 10 a.m.