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Man tries opening exit door mid-flight

July 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
American Airlines Flight 725, which was headed from Boston to Los Angeles International Airport, was diverted to Oklahoma City Friday due to a passenger's behavior.The flight arrived safely at LAX Friday afternoon. Those aboard the flight said a male passenger went to the bathroom mid-flight and walked out naked. A few men stopped him and urged him to go back into the bathroom to get dressed.

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Passengers said they were questioning the man's mental state and that he did not seem coherent.

After the man came out of the bathroom with his clothes back on, passengers said he made a beeline for the door.

"Steward came over and forced him to put his clothes back on, which he did. Then he sat back down in the seat. And then about five or 10 minutes later, when he got up again, then it appeared that he was going to the bathroom, but that's when he didn't and went for the emergency exit door. And that's when -- there were four of us that stood up and just tried to pull him back," said Michael Burns, who subdued the suspect.

"He went back into the bathroom, he put his clothes back on, sat down ... we thought the incident was basically over. And then I was talking to another passenger, just in the last seat in first class ... we were chatting a bit. Saw out of the corner of my eye, him bolt out of his seat and do a beeline for the door," said Craig Tornberg, who also subdued the suspect.

The two men who helped subdue the suspect were the vice president and the general manager of the New England Revolution soccer team. The team was on the way to LAX for a game on Sunday. The two men said the suspect, who was in his 20s, was taken off the plane in Oklahoma City.

 

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