Unruly passenger arrested for using emergency slide to exit Chicago-bound plane
A passenger has been arrested after deploying a plane’s emergency slide while on the tarmac at a New York airport, American Airlines said Wednesday. Cynthia McKnight, a 24-year-old woman from Sacramento, Calif., is charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, trespassing and criminal mischief, according to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
The plane, which was scheduled to travel from Buffalo Niagara International Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Tuesday evening, was forced to return to its gate shortly after being pushed back by a disruptive passenger. Before the plane could reach the jet deck, McKnight reportedly opened the gate, deploying the emergency slide. She then used the slide to exit the plane onto the tarmac, according to American Airlines.
“The individual was quickly apprehended by local law enforcement and placed on American’s internal garbage list pending further investigation,” the airline said in a statement on Wednesday. . “We thank our team members for their professionalism and action to ensure the safety of our customers and other crew members.”
Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Spencer Brown was on the flight and tweeted a photo of the plane.
There were 65 other passengers and four crew members on board the plane at the time of the incident. No injuries were reported, according to American Airlines. Following the incident, the aircraft was taken out of service and all passengers were reclassified on alternative flights.