Passenger on flight to Houston tries opening emergency exit in midair

Police escort a disruptive passenger on a flight to Houston off the plane, after making an emergency landing in Corpus Christi (KPRC Photo)
Police escort a disruptive passenger on a flight to Houston off the plane, after making an emergency landing in Corpus Christi (KPRC Photo)

HOUSTON (KXAN) — Passengers on a flight to Houston Sunday were quick to react after a woman jumped over her fellow passengers, trying to open the emergency exit door while they were still in flight.

KPRC spoke to an off-duty Cleveland, Texas school police officer on the flight who jumped up and pulled the woman away from the door.

The flight from Los Angeles to Houston then made an emergency landing in Corpus Christi. Officer Pamela Minchew had been watching the situation involving the woman escalate, saying it appeared the flight attendants had everything under control, that is until the woman went for the door.

“Everything shut down,” Minchew told KPRC. “All I [had] seen was she was reaching for the door, my children were there, other passengers, families — she was not getting the door open.”

Minchew jumped up and subdued the woman. The officer got the combative woman’s hands behind her back, stood her up and had her walk away from the door.

“As my kids say, I used my ‘mommy voice,’ so I did command presence,” Minchew said. Once she identified herself as an officer, passengers began to calm down.

“My automatic thought process was what you see on the movies, the door is going to open we are going to down, it’s going to be a really bad situation.”

KPRC reports the woman had been confronted by airport security in Los Angeles because she was yelling in the terminal, but she was still allowed onto the plane.

The plane landed safely in Corpus Christi, before continuing to Houston about four hours behind schedule — without the disruptive passenger.

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