Alaska Airlines passengers tackle man after he attempts to open plane's exit door during flight

Alaska Airlines passengers tackle man after he attempts to open plane's exit door during flight
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POSTED: Sunday, June 2, 2013 - 8:00am

UPDATED: Sunday, June 2, 2013 - 8:04am

Passengers on an Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage to Portland had to restrain a man with shoestrings and a seat belt extensions after he attempted to open an emergency exit, witnesses said.

Flight 132 was about to land Monday morning when the man set off an alarm by pulling the door handle, said FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele.

"Passengers and crew members interviewed by Port of Portland Police Officers said the man made unusual statements prior to the incident, and then attempted to open the door," Steele said.

"The woman next to the passenger said 'Somebody please help,'" witness Henry Pignataro added. "I put him in a choke hold and brought him down to the ground."

Pignataro said he and another man held down the passenger, later identified as 23-year-old Alexander Michael Herrera, and asked the flight attendants if they had any restraints. He said they brought three sets of shoelaces, which Pignataro and the other man used to bind Herrera's legs.

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