San Francisco Police say an unruly airline passenger carrying a passport from Yemen had to be subdued by flight attendants and passengers Sunday night after he began pounding on the cockpit door. It was the third security incident in a day on U.S. planes, authorities said Monday.
The American Airlines Flight 1561 from Chicago was approaching San Francisco International Airport, when police say the passenger got up from his seat, slipped past a flight attendance, and began banging on the cockpit door and shouting.
A male flight attendant tackled the man. Other crew members helped subdue the suspect as he beat on the cockpit door.
"He asked for help; a couple of passengers joined in," Sgt. Michael Rodriguez of the San Francisco Police told The Associated Press. "They were able to get him to ground and a flight attendant put him in plastic handcuffs."
Police took the man into custody after the plane carrying 162 people landed safely.
The suspect was identified as 28-year-old Rageit Almurisi. He carried a Yemeni passport, but his nationality wasn't immediately known, according to Rodriguez.
The incident happened just hours after a Continental Airlines flight to Chicago was diverted in St. Louis after a passenger tried to open a plane door.
Continental spokeswoman Julie King said Flight No. 546 landed around 1:30 p.m. and was grounded about an hour before resuming it journey.
Authorities questioned the passenger. No charges have been filed.
Shortly before that, a Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit to San Diego was landed instead in Albuquerque, N.M. because of a security scare. But authorities found "no suspicious devices" on the plane, an FBI spokesman said.
Agency spokesman Frank Fisher declined to clarify the nature of the "potential security threat" that caused Flight 1706 to land in New Mexico. He said agents searched the plane and interviewed the crew and 107 passengers before clearing the aircraft to fly again.