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| Crime |

D.B. Cooper, Osama Jr. or just plain loonbag?: Another weird passenger incident causes flight diversion to Colorado

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It seems like only a couple of weeks ago that a passenger caused a flight to make an unscheduled landing in Colorado due to inexplicable behavior (including his insistence on shaving topless). That's because it was only a couple of weeks ago.

Now, a similar act: A thus-far unnamed man tried to open the front door of a mid-air Washington, D.C.-to-Las Vegas flight (and get into the cockpit as well), prompting fast action by freaked-out passengers, as well as an unexpected stop at Denver International Airport.

Was this guy living out a D.B. Cooper fantasy? Launching a terrorist plot without the aid of exploding underpants? Or just plain nuts? The FBI isn't saying much at this point -- but look below to see what the agency has spilled to date:

On Saturday, January 23, 2010, United Airways flight 223, traveling from Washington, D.C., Dulles, to Las Vegas, was diverted to the Denver International Airport (DIA) due to an unruly male passenger. While flight 223 was in the air, this male passenger reportedly made an unsuccessful attempt at opening one of the front doors to the plane, as well as attempting to open the cockpit door. Other passengers noted the actions and behavior of this passenger and took action by restraining him until the plane landed and members of the Denver Police Department were able to take him into custody. The flight landed at DIA without incident at approximately 5:10 p.m. (MST). After the police and FBI conducted interviews, the passenger was referred for medical evaluation and is not in law enforcement custody at this time. There were no injuries to passengers or the flight crew as a result of this incident.

The passneger is last known to be a resident in the state of New York. No other details about his identity will be provided.

At this point, there are no indications that this is anything other than an unruly passenger. As this matter is considered an ongoing investigation, no additional details will be released.

Questions pertaining to potential federal charges should be directed to the District of Colorado, United States Attorney's Office spokesman, Jeff Dorschner, at telephone number (303) 454-0243.

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