Chicago police confirm United Airlines incident, claim bloodied passenger 'fell'
The incident, which involved a 69-year-old passenger being violently pulled off a flight, was filmed by several of his fellow passengers and widely shared online Sunday night.
|Report an Error|
Share via Email
Chicago police have confirmed that officers were involved in a violent incident onboard a United Airlines flight, via a passive-voiced statement.
The incident, which involved a 69-year-old passenger, was filmed by several of his fellow passengers and widely shared online Sunday night.
"A 69-year-old Asian male airline passenger became irate after he was asked to disembark from a flight that was oversold," read the statement issued by the Chicago Police Department's officier of communications.
"Aviation Officers arrived on scene and attempted to carry the individual off of the flight when he fell. His head subsequently struck an armrest causing injuries to his face."
The videos, which were posted to various social media sites on Sunday, show three men wearing radio gear and security jackets surrounding the man’s seat. After a few moments pass, one of the men grabs the passenger who lets out a bloodcurdling shriek in response.
After he is pulled from the seat, the man goes limp as he is dragged up the airplane’s centre aisle by his arms.
A United Airlines spokesperson has confirmed in a statement that a passenger was removed from the overbooked flight after no volunteers stepped forward.
“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.”
Another video posted after the incident shows the clearly agitated man returning to the aircraft, repeatedly saying "I have to go home" as he paced the aisle. A witness on the plane claims the man said he was a doctor who had patients to see the next day.
One of passengers who witnessed the incident gave his version of events on Twitter.
Another person who saw their fellow passenger dragged from the flight told the Courier-Journal that an airline employee announced names would be randomly selected by a computer. One couple was selected first and they left the airplane.The man and his wife were chosen next, and that's when the confrontation began.
When he refused to leave, the witness said he identified himself as a doctor and that he had patients to see in the morning. When he was warned that law enforcement would be called, the man replied that he would call a lawyer.
Shortly afterward, more security personnel arrived and the chilling scene played out. The witness said the man's face struck an arm rest during the struggle and that he appeared bloodied when he returned to the aircraft.
United Airlines and the TSA are referring all queries to the Chicago Police Department