Fort Worth-based American Airlines confirmed Sunday that a man tried to open an emergency exit door while the plane was in the air.
However, American Airlines said it considered the incident a non-terroristic threat and allowed the man to continue on his next connecting flight.
An airline spokesperson said the man, who was sitting in coach, got up to use the restroom. He was told to use the first-class lavatory, but instead walked up the aisle and tried to open an exit door.
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A source close to the airline believed the man spoke little English and was confused.
The scary moment happened near the first-class seat of actor Michael Rapaport. He discussed the incident on his podcast, "I Am Rapaport: Stereo Podcast."
"I got up out of my seat, half sleeping, with my headphones in my ear, and I put my hand on his shoulder," Rapaport said. "I sort of pinned him against the seat. This is happening all in about 45 seconds."
The American Airlines spokesperson said the man who tried to open the door was allowed to continue flying on his connecting flight and no injuries were reported.