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Flight Diverted After Man Tries to Exit Mid-Air

Pilots put plane down at Eppley Airfield in Omaha because of an "unruly" passenger

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Video from a passenger's cell phone shows a man being escorted off a plane after it was forced to make an unscheduled stop in Nebraska. (Published Monday, Apr 14, 2014)

    A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Sacramento was forced to make an unscheduled stop in Nebraska on Sunday after a passenger reportedly tried to make an abrupt mid-air exit.

    Joshua Carl Lee Suggs, of Sacramento, was charged Monday with interfering with flight crew. He's expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

    Video recorded by a producer from NBC station KCRA in Sacramento shows authorities removing Suggs from flight 722 after the pilots put the plane down at Eppley Airfield in Omaha.

    Witnesses said they heard screaming coming from the back of the plane. A flight attendant was yelling "Help me! Help me!" as the man attempted to jump out of the plane through a rear door.

    A doctor and other passengers reacted.

    "I ran to the back of the plane. At that point in time I was joined by about two other people," Dr. Scott Porter said. "We basically tackled the -- I don't want to say gentleman -- but the guy who was back there and pinned him down and restrained him."

    Another passenger, Monique Lawler, told KABC-TV in Los Angeles that she saw Suggs acting strangely during the flight. At one point he came out of the bathroom soaking wet, she said.

    The flight with five crew members and 134 passengers arrived safely in Sacramento about two hours behind schedule, the airline said in a statement.

    No injuries were reported.