Naked, unruly passenger causes plane to land in Oklahoma City

By Michael Kimball Modified: July 18, 2008 at 6:23 pm •  Published: July 18, 2008
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A cross-country American Airlines flight was diverted to Oklahoma City this afternoon after a passenger attempted to open an emergency exit door in mid-air, officials said.

No one was hurt. The passenger’s identity was not released.

The flight crew reported that during the flight, en route to Los Angeles from Boston, a man went into a lavatory and came out without his clothes on, FBI Special Agent Gary Johnson said. After complying with crew member instructions to put his clothes back on, the man returned to his seat but was seen trying to open an emergency exit door a short time later.

Other passengers onboard, including members of the New England Revolution, a Major League Soccer team, subdued the man and helped the flight crew detain him, Johnson said.

The plane was diverted to Will Rogers World Airport and landed about 1:35 p.m., Johnson said. The man was handed over to Oklahoma City police officers, who took him to a crisis center for mental evaluation.

Service at the airport was not affected by the incident, said Mark Kranenburg, director of Oklahoma City’s airports. The plane took off an hour later and resumed its trip to Los Angeles.

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