Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reynel Alcaide, who tried to open plane door at 35,000ft on Sunday May 8th was 'attempting suicide' - 19th May 2011

A man who allegedly pinned a flight attendant against the wall and tried to open the exit hatch of a plane mid-air was trying to commit suicide, according to prosecutors.

The terrifying drama unfolded on Sunday May 8 when 34-year-old Reynel Alcaide is said to have stormed up the aisle of a Boeing 737 travelling from Houston to Chicago and attempted to pull open the door.

He was over-powered by three passengers before the Continental Airlines flight made an emergency landing in St Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that during a hearing, a federal prosecutor said Alcaide had tried to commit suicide before.

The judge postponed a decision on setting bail and ordered a psychiatric exam.

Alcaide’s attorney, public defender Felicia Jones, asked that he be treated in a hospital rather than a jail.

The man who initially tackled Alcaide was 60-year-old army veteran Tony Harris.

Mr Harris, a martial arts expert, tackled him from behind and hauled him to the ground as he grabbed the door handle.

Terrified travellers watched as the pair struggled on the floor of the aircraft before Harris, with help from two other passengers, managed to handcuff him.

Mr Harris told ABC news that he decided to act after he saw Alcaide lunge into a flight attendant. Read More