Update: Aviation Nation blogger and journalist Annie Jacobsen notes another incident on a separate Frontier Airlines flight.
Via Fox News, here’s your homeland insecurity story of the morning (hat tip – Roger). John Doe passengers helped restrain the suspiciously-acting passenger:
A passenger tried to open a plane door during a Frontier Airlines flight on Saturday morning but was subdued by airline staff and passengers, an airline spokesman said.
Police and Transportation Security Administration staff met Flight 514 after the plane landed in New York City and took the man into custody, said Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas.
Hodas said the man, whose name was not released, would not have been able to open the door even if he had not been subdued. “You need special training to open the door,” he said.
There were 128 passengers and five crew members on the plane, Hodas said.
Passenger Bobby Vigil of Estes Park told KUSA-TV in Denver that the man had been acting strangely. Vigil said he and other passengers helped a flight attendant tie the man to his seat with duct tape.
“The whole rest of the flight, all the way in, he was yelling and trying to bite the tape, and they ended up restraining him with an extra lap belt,” said Vigil.
The NYDailyNews has a photo of Bobby Vigil and some more details about the arrested passenger:
Vigil said the crazed man was bouncing up and down in his seat for most of the flight, clutching several boarding passes and kicking the row in front of him.
“He was playing with his hair, picking at his face and counting his fingers,” said Vigil, 45, of Estes Park, Colo. “I thought he was anxious to get home or something.”
Vigil said his rowmate left his seat to go to the bathroom in the front of the plane and briefly tried to open the cockpit door. The man, whom he described as Asian and about 20, then returned to his seat, only to get up 15 seconds later, go to the back of the plane and attempt to open the cabin door.
“I heard the flight attendant say, ‘Help me!'” Vigil said. A struggle broke out, and Vigil and two other male passengers rushed over to help the attendant restrain the passenger.