Fri, Aug 24, 2012
American Eagle Flight Was At A Gate, The Man Was Unarmed
A man was arrested in Baton Rouge, LA, after he locked himself in the cockpit of an American Eagle airplane sitting at a gate at the airport. Andrew Alessi was unarmed, and will likely be charged with interfering with a flight crew.
ABC News reports that Alessi managed to gain access to the airplane while the crew was preparing it for its next flight. In a briefing for the media, Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Chief of Airport Security Anthony Williams said the airplane had arrived from Dallas and been cleared of passengers. Alessi allegedly pushed past the gate agent, who chased him down the jetway, and managed to get past another American employee to gain access to the cockpit. Once there, he locked the door, which is reinforced against a terrorist attack.
Ground crews disconnected the airplane from external power so it could not be started. It also remained attached to the tractor at the gate.
Alessi, who was a ticketed passenger, had cleared security and carried no weapons. A negotiator for the SWAT team from the Baton Rouge police department managed to talk him out of the cockpit and off the plane, a process which took between two and three hours, according to airport spokesman Jim Caldwell. Alessi was reportedly upset about a personal situation.
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