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Man duct-taped after trying to open exit door on American Airlines flight to Chicago

Passengers on an American Airline flight bound for Chicago Tuesday jumped in to help restrain a passenger who attempted to open a plane door, according to information from witnesses and airline officials.

The intervention, captured on video, took place on AA Flight 1219 after the plane departed from Albuquerque, New Mexico bound for O'Hare International Airport, an American Airlines spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY Wednesday morning.

An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max takes off at Tulsa International Airport to fly to Dallas Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla.. Earlier the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to the American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility.
An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max takes off at Tulsa International Airport to fly to Dallas Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla.. Earlier the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to the American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility.

One passenger posted a video of the melee on X and said he watched "a man trying to aggressively open the airplane door 4 rows back."

"Me and 5 other dudes had to wrestle him into the aisle, duct tape his legs, and throw flexi-cuffs on him," the passenger wrote in the post.

Video provided by WLS-TV shows a man in a red shirt and black hoodie being restrained by passengers near an exit door and being held down by what appears to be a group of men and tied up.

Subsequent video circulating online shows law enforcement officers escorting the same person off the plane onto the tarmac handcuffed.

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'A disturbance in the cabin'

The flight returned to the Albuquerque International Airport shortly after takeoff "due to a disturbance in the cabin involving a disruptive customer," the airline's spokesperson said.

The flight landed safely, the spokesperson said, and the aircraft was met by local law enforcement upon arrival.

FAA investigating incident

The Federal Aviation Administration said the flight returned safely to New Mexico at 2:40 p.m. and agents are investigating the incident.

The FBI is also investigating the case, officials said.

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: American passenger tries to open plane door, gets restrained, arrested