An American Airlines passenger who began acting oddly during a cross-country flight abruptly opened the cabin door and jumped from the plane shortly after landing. The manic air traveler is described as being fortunate to have escaped with only minor injuries after leaping to the tarmac. Prior to his dramatic exit, he reportedly sprayed fellow passengers with an unknown liquid.
A Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)-bound American Airlines flight ended with a bizarre performance and an ill-advised stunt by an unhinged passenger on Friday. According to authorities, a 23-year-old flyer opened a cabin door and leapt out of the aircraft shortly after the plane landed.
“American had requested law enforcement meet flight 1346 upon arrival in Phoenix due to a disruptive passenger,” airline officials told reporters in a statement. “Once the flight arrived at the gate, the passenger opened one of [the] doors and jumped off the aircraft. Law enforcement and paramedics responded.”
After opening the door of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, the man launched himself out of the plane, falling approximately 10 feet to the tarmac as a result. The disruptive passenger is said to have survived his jump with only minor injuries.
According to eyewitnesses, the unidentified passenger had been behaving bizarrely throughout the flight. The out-of-control flyer is accused of touching other passengers’ faces and using a spray bottle to squirt an unidentified liquid on seatmates during the journey.
When the plane arrived at the gate, passengers were told to remain in their seats until law enforcement arrived. The unidentified troublemaker, however, had other ideas.
“Once stopped, he tried to make a run for it hitting various passengers, including me,” Hannah Johnson a passenger on the flight, told the Arizona Republic.
Police say they were waiting for the flight when it arrived, but the suspect they were there to escort from the plane instead chose an unorthodox manner of disembarking. His bold escape was, however, extraordinarily short-lived.
“While waiting for the door to the jet way to open, the man opened the service door on the opposite side of the aircraft and jumped out,” a Phoenix Police Department spokesperson confirmed. “He landed on the ground approximately 10 feet below, sustaining minor injuries. Workers at the airport stopped the man and he was taken into custody by Phoenix Police officers without incident. He was transported to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries.”
Investigators say passengers on the plane who had accused the disturbed passengers of assaulting them declined to pursue charges. Officials say the failed escape artist could still face state and federal trespassing charges for his actions.
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