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June 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

UPDATE: Disorderly Passenger Aboard Northwest Flight Walked Toward the Cockpit Door But Flight Attendant Intervened


By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — A disorderly man aboard a Northwest airlines flight headed from Detroit to Washington Tuesday night was moving toward the cockpit door but a flight attendant intervened and he backed away, authorities said.

Walter Vincent Baker, 30, of Michigan, was arrested and charged Arlington County, Va., with public intoxication and interference with the operation of an aircraft, an airport spokeswoman said.

I was aboard that plane, Northwest Flight 226, that landed at Reagan National Airport around 8:30 p.m.

Just minutes before the plane approached the gate, some shouting was heard in first-class section. Moments later, an announcement came over the public address system saying that authorities would be boarding the plane and passengers should remain in their seats.

After the plane got to the gate, about four uniformed Airport Authority Police officers boarded and quickly yanked the man out of his seat and took him away.

A flight attendant told an inquiring passenger (I was standing nearby) that the man tried to open the door during the flight and he was yelling something about terrorists. The flight attendant said it sounded like the man may have had some mental health issues.

Everyone on the plane remained calm, and a few minutes later, they left the plane.

Courtney Mickalonis, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said authorities got a call from the flight crew asking for assistance with a disorderly passenger.

On Tuesday night, she said investigators were interviewing witnesses. This morning, she said the man was moving toward the cockpit door, but a flight attendant intervened and told him to sit down.

She said words were exchanged and he eventually sat down. She said the man did not get close enough to the door to even attempt anything. No one was injured.

“We believe alcohol was involved,” she said.

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