Dulles-to-Vegas Flight Diverted After Security Breach

Flight diverted to Denver

Monday, Jan 25, 2010  |  Updated 6:43 AM EDT
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DC Man Talks About Saving Dulles Flight

AP

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DC Man Talks About Saving Dulles Flight

A D.C. attorney talks about wrestling a fellow passenger who tried to open a plane door during a flight from Dulles to Las Vegas.
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An airplane flying from the D.C. area to Las Vegas was diverted to Denver International Airport Saturday after a passenger tried to open a door on the plane while it was in flight.

DIA spokesman Jeff Green said that United Flight 223 from Dulles International Airport was diverted to Denver at 5:10 p.m. Police and the FBI met the plane at the gate and took the passenger into custody.

FBI spokeswoman Kathy Wright said the man was questioned and released for a medical evaluation after investigators determined
the incident was not a "terrorism matter."  Wright said authorities will review the incident and decide what charges to file.

Investigators said he may have been intoxicated. A witness told News4 that he and another passenger helped wrestle the man to the ground.

Earl Stafford, 62, was among the passengers who helped subdue the man. Passengers reportedly had to hold the man down for about 30 minutes while the plane made its emergency landing because they had nothing with which to restrain him.

Stafford's foundation is the organization that teamed with comedian and actor Bill Cosby to create "Doing Good: The People's Project" to inspire people to volunteer and help others. Looks like Earl Stafford's the perfect man to lead that project.

It is "virtually impossible" to open an exterior door in mid-flight, Green told the Denver Post.

United Airlines did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press.
 

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