A rogue passenger is facing up to 20 years in prison after bashing on the cockpit door of a plane before jumping out the emergency exit.
A 33-year-old Mexican man was on board United Airlines flight 5365, operated by SkyWest Airlines, on Friday evening when he suddenly “sprinted” to the front of the aircraft as it began pushing back from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
The flight was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City.
According to an FBI affidavit, the man “began banging on the cockpit door and manipulating the locked doorknob”.
When he failed to gain entry, the man pushed past a flight attendant and headed towards the emergency exit on the right side of the plane where he managed to open the door, partially deploying the emergency slide.
A nearby passenger tried to restrain him but he got away and jumped out of the moving aircraft, missing the emergency slide.
“Once [the man] landed on the tarmac, he began crawling away from the aircraft. His right leg appeared broken,” the affidavit stated.
A statement from the US Department of Justice said the man later underwent surgery for his injuries.
He was charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
His case will be heard in United States District Court later this week.
The flight landed in Salt Lake City at 1:21am local time on Saturday morning, about three-and-a-half hours after its scheduled arrival, according to FlightRadar24.
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