Man duct-taped on flight to Chicago after trying to open door, passengers say

ByDiane Pathieu WABC logo
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Unruly man duct-taped on flight to Chicago, passengers say
An American Airlines flight from Albuquerque to Chicago was diverted after passengers said a man tried to open a plane door.

CHICAGO -- Video from passengers shows a man getting duct-taped after a flight from Albuquerque to Chicago was disrupted Tuesday.

American Airlines flight 1219 was heading to O'Hare Airport from Albuquerque, New Mexico, didn't make it very far after an unruly passenger tried to open the plane door midway through the flight:

The flight was headed to Chicago Tuesday afternoon. The plane made it up to 26,000 feet when a man onboard tried to open a plane door.

That's when airline staff and passengers jumped in, tackled the man, duct-taped him and forcefully restrained him until the plane could land safely back in Albuquerque.

Blaze Ward was one of the first passengers to wrestle the man down.

"He already had the safety mechanism down and had both hands on the lever and he was like yanking it and he was a big dude and he had it pretty well pulled and I don't know if you can hear it, but there was a difference in pressure, a whistling," Ward said.

The unruly passenger was later taken into custody by police who met the plane when it landed.

According to a statement from the FAA the flight returned, "safely to Albuquerque International Sunport Airport" after the crew, "reported a passenger disturbance."

The FBI is also now stepping in to investigate.