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Southwest passenger is 'soak and wet': Makes mad dash to open door mid-flight

A Southwest Airline passenger came out of the bathroom soak and wet and decided he was going to leave the plane mid-flight, but the flight attendant’s screams for help were answered. Three passengers came to the crew's aid and tackled the passenger away from the door, according to Omaha.com on April 14.

Southwest Airline passenger tries to open door mid-flight, arrested.
Southwest Airline passenger tries to open door mid-flight, arrested.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Chicago to Sacramento flight was diverted to Eppley Airfield to “have an unruly passenger removed,” before it took to the skies again headed to Sacramento. The man was identified as Joshua Carl Lee Suggs, who is 23 from Sacramento. Suggs was taken into custody on the plane by air marshals, who boarded when the plane made a diverted landing, and he was taken off the plane in handcuffs.

He is in Douglas County Jail facing charges of suspicion of assaulting a flight crew member and flight attendant, along with interfering with the performance of their duties. If the man had gotten the door open, he would have interfered with everyone’s performance.

As one woman put it, who was a passenger on the flight, “Some gentleman just decided that he wanted us to visit the Lord today and ... open up the back hatch while we were all already up in the air.” Monique Lawler joked with the media once reaching L.A., which was her final destination.

Lawler said the man was acting odd through the entire flight. At one point he came out of the bathroom “soak and wet.” That is when he went for the door and tried to get it open, according to Boston.com.

A doctor and two other passengers restrained the man until they landed at Eppley Airfield and the air marshals boarded the plane and took the man off. They first tackled him away from the door when they heard the flight attendant’s screams for help. Passenger Scott Porter summed up his experience on the flight to reporters saying, “he was going to do bad things to the plane so, it was pretty scary."

The diversion rendered the flight about two hours late getting into Sacramento, but all 134 passengers and five crew members made it safe and sound, thanks to the flight attendant and the passengers willing to help.