Unruly man diverts Chicago-bound plane, his 2nd flight disruption in 24 hours

July 2, 2013 4:32:11 PM PDT
The same unruly passenger who caused an American Eagle flight from Albuquerque to Chicago to be diverted Tuesday caused a similar diversion on a US Airways flight from Vegas to Charlotte on Monday, said Albuquerque airport spokesman Dan Jiron.

Jiron said the pilot of the US Airways flight reported the man was being "disruptive and unruly" on Monday. The jet diverted to Albuquerque at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday morning. The airport spokesman says police and FBI interviewed him, but no charges were filed so man was free to go. He boarded the American Eagle regional jet bound for Chicago on Tuesday morning.

That flight from Albuquerque to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was forced to make an emergency landing in Kansas City due to a disruptive passenger who attempted to exit the aircraft during the flight, American Airlines said.

American Eagle Flight 3172 made the emergency landing in Kansas City around 11:30 Tuesday morning, where the passenger was removed from the plane by the Kansas City airport police.

Kevin Mugan was a passenger on the American Eagle flight when he and others noticed a man shouting, refusing flight attendant requests to stay seated and eventually making a move toward an airplane exit.

"We talked about it and decided we'd take the guy down if that's what we had to do," Mugan said. "I think there was about 4-5 other passengers behind us, so if he got by us, he'd have to go through them, too."

Passengers say the man spoke in broken English and at one point, tried to light a cigarette.

"It was just really scary, and we just wanted him off the flight," said Karen Fuller, passenger.

A federal agent happened to be on the flight. He and a few other passengers surrounded the man in his seat and made sure that he stayed there until the plan made the unscheduled stop in Kansas City.

"This guy was trying to jump out the door, he was trying to get to the exit. We don't know if he was high, or just intoxicated. He actually leaped over some people, trying to get to the door. He was just trying to light up a cigarette and just being totally disruptive," said Mugan.

"He was just speaking loudly, he wasn't speaking to anybody. He was just speaking, and everybody was like, 'What's going on?'" said Fuller.

The flight, carrying 63 passengers and a crew of four, landed safely at O'Hare about two hours late on Tuesday afternoon, American Airlines said.

A spokesman for the TSA declined to answer why the man was allowed to board the second flight.


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