Southwest Plane Diverted After Unruly Passenger Tries to Make Mid-Air Exit

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Southwest Plane Diverted

A Southwest plane had to be diverted on Sunday after a passenger reportedly tried to make an abrupt mid-air exit.

The Southwest Airlines flight 722 from Chicago to Sacramento was diverted to Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska and the suspect was led away in handcuffs following the ordeal.

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.

Monique Lawler, one of the passengers says the suspect was acting strangely during the entire flight. At one point, he went into the bathroom and came out soaking wet. Suddenly things took a turn for the worse.

“He got up and went to the rear of the plane and tried to open up the hatch,” said Lawler. “One of the airline stewardess just started screaming as well as passengers screaming help.”

She says a large male passenger jumped into action quickly taking the suspect down.

“I ran to the back of the plane. At that point in time I was joined by about two other people,” Dr. Scott Porter told NBC Chicago. “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.”

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.

Southwest Plane Diverted

A Southwest plane had to be diverted on Sunday after a passenger reportedly tried to make an abrupt mid-air exit.

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