Police: Man arrested after trying to open plane's cabin door
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A North Carolina man was arrested at Logan Airport after allegedly trying to open an airplane’s cabin door during flight.
Massachusetts State Police said Michael Ensalaco, 40, was allegedly trying to open the airplane’s cabin door while it was en route from Portland, Maine to Philadelphia.
"Everyone got really nervous because we thought, 'Okay, someone's trying to open a plane door,'" said David Ray, a passenger.
"I was sitting in 2A and I screamed,and then the flight attendant came rushing and got him and moved him to the rear of the aircraft," said Tina Brinkerhoff, a passenger.
Officials said flight crew members intervened and prevented the suspect from continuing to try and open the door. The crew ordered an emergency landing and the plane landed at Logan Airport shortly after 4:30 p.m.
According to passengers, the only flight attendants on board, a man in his 20's, kept the suspect at the back of the plane until it landed.
"He was just really out of it," a passenger said.
State troopers met the plane at the tarmac, boarded the plane and took the suspect into custody.
A woman, who claims she is the man's wife, said he has some medical conditions that could explain what happened.
A source told 7News the man had an anxiety attack, got up from his seat, and had a seizure. "I'm upset because obviously he wouldn't mean anyone any harm, but when he has these seizures he's not fully alert. The seizures come when he falls asleep. And he happened to doze off on the plane and had a mild seizure. I can't remember what they call it, but it's like a post-seizure where he's semi-alert and usually he does have to get to a bathroom," the woman said.
The suspect is currently being interviewed by State Police and TSA officials. He is currently charged with interfering with a flight crew.
There were 50 passengers and three crew members on board.
The suspect will be arraigned Friday morning in East Boston District Court.
The following statement was released by the TSA on Thursday:
At approximately 4:35pm, Air Wisconsin #3801 (Portland – Philadelphia) landed safely at Logan International Airport after the pilot diverted the plane due to a disturbance on board. Initial information indicates a passenger may have attempted to open the cockpit door. The Massachusetts State Police met the flight upon arrival and they are currently interviewing the passenger.
The following statement was released by US Airways on Thursday:
US Airways Express Flight 3801, operated by Air Wisconsin departed from Portland, ME en route to Philadelphia, PA was diverted to Logan after a disoriented passenger tried to open the forward boarding door. Passengers subdued him, the plane landed safely. Local authorities are interviewing passengers. 1 male subject is in custody. US Airways will be reaccomodating passengers.
Note: According to Air Wisconsin’s website, it is “the largest independently held regional airline in the United States, Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation performs flying services for US Airways, and ground handling services for United.”
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