Veteran takes down Southwest passenger trying to open door during flight

U.S. Navy veteran David Ward with other Southwest passengers credited with stopping an unruly passenger. (Twitter/Faithjessietv)

A US Navy veteran and a handful of passengers on a Las Vegas-bound Southwest flight took down a passenger who allegedly tried to open the cabin door during flight.

Southwest Airlines flight #4494 out of Chicago was diverted to Denver after a security issue arose with 170 people on board.

Navy veteran David Ward recalls noticing a man behaving strangely in the aisle across from him.

“About 45 minutes into the flight at cruising altitude, I noticed this gentleman sitting across from me that had a cocktail and he was getting kind of fidgety,” said Ward.

Ward claims the 57-year-old passenger took a large amount of what looked like prescription medication and chased it down with alcohol. After taking the bizarre cocktail, the man stood up and tried to open the airplane door.

“That upset him and set him off into a psychotic episode, he then took the drink cart from the flight attendant pulled it to the ground…went smashing all of the aircraft,” said Ward.

According to 3NewsLasVegas, Ward was prepared to spring into action as the situation progressed.

“He started walking down screaming at the top of his lungs, calling all the passengers filthy names and that we were all being kidnapped and didn’t know it,” said Ward.

When a flight attendant asked Ward and three other men to put the man out of commission, they happily obliged.

“It took four of us to get him down to the floor,” said Ward.

The plane landed in Denver, where it was met by law enforcement. The FBI described the man as drunk, disobedient and unruly.

As for Ward, Southwest Airlines showed their appreciation with a travel voucher and 40,000 free travel points.

The case is now with the US Attorney’s Office, who will decide if charges will be filed against the belligerent passenger.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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