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Another day, another bizarre airline story. This one comes to us from over the Atlantic Ocean aboard United Flight 914 from Paris CDG to Washington IAD. WJLA is reporting that a man was arrested by an onboard air marshal after repeatedly trying to open the aircraft’s emergency exit door.
On September 30, a United Boeing 787-9 took off from CDG at 12:25pm local en route to Dulles.
Alex Croft, a passenger in row 40 in Economy class, had been drinking, and according to an FBI affidavit, a flight attendant said Croft’s “eyes appeared to be medicated” and that he was “slow to comprehend information.”
The unnamed flight attendant cut Croft off after serving him just one glass of wine. Later the same FA found Croft in the galley holding a bottle of wine, which the FA did not know how he had obtained. The situation became more bizarre when Croft was seen peering out the window near an emergency exit and said “I need to get off this plane.” Croft then attempted to open the emergency exit door, leading to an FA sending him back to his seat.
Just five minutes later Croft was back in action and was again trying to open the same door. The FA had to “physically remove” Croft from the door and place him back in his seat. Another FA yelled “Sir, sir!” alerting a federal air marshal who was onboard and headed towards the scene of the commotion — but Croft was already heading back to his seat by the time the air marshal arrived.
But the apparently intoxicated man wasn’t done yet. With about 45 minutes left in the journey, Croft once again came to the same emergency exit and tried to open the door. But he didn’t get away so easily this time: the air marshal broke cover and restrained him for the rest of the flight. According to flight tracking software Flight Aware, the flight landed on time even with all the commotion.
Once the 787 landed, Croft was arrested by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police department and Customs and Border Protection officers. Croft has been charged with interference with flight crew members or flight attendants, a crime that could result in up to 20 years of jail time.
The Washington Post contacted Croft’s lawyer, Elizabeth A. Mullin, who declined to comment on the case.
Featured image by United.
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