Passenger Decides to Open Exit Door Mid-Air: Southwest Airlines Flight 722 Makes Emergency Landing at Nebraska
Joshua Carl Lee Suggs, 23, a man from Sacramento, tried to open the rear exit door of the Southwest Airlines airplane flying from Chicago’s Midway Airport to Sacramento on April 13. The captain made an emergency landing in Omaha, Nebraska.
Airport police arrested and escorted Suggs after landing. Federal officials said he could face charges of interference with flight crew members and attendants. This is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both. He will be presented in Omaha court on April 16.
The flight 722 carrying 134 passengers and 5 crew members arrived in Sacramento two hours behind the schedule after removing the unruly passenger at Nebraska.
The other passengers reported that Suggs was acting strangely even before he tried to open the door and jump out of the plane. He emerged soaking wet from the bathroom of the plane at one point. He appeared to be under the influence of drugs or psychotic. He was physically overpowered by other male passengers of the plane on the request of the crew members.