ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - An Illinois man who allegedly tried to open an emergency exit door of a plane in mid-flight was charged by federal prosecutors on Monday with interfering with a flight crew and crimes involving aircraft, authorities said on Monday.
The man, Reynel C. Alcaide of Burbank, Illinois, 34, could face 10 years in jail for each of the two counts.
According to prosecutors, Alcaide boarded Continental Airline flight 546 in Houston on Sunday, heading for Chicago. After the flight took off he rushed up the aisle toward the front of the aircraft where a flight attendant tried to stop him.
He pinned the flight attendant against the wall and repeatedly tried to open the emergency door, the complaint added.
He was reportedly subdued by passengers and crew members, and the plane was diverted to St. Louis where it landed at Lambert International Airport at 1:28 p.m. Central time.
"Police officers boarded the plane and found the disruptive passenger on the floor near the front of the plane, being detained by a flight attendant and two passengers," said Lambert spokesman Jeff Lea.
Lea said there no serious injuries and no indication the man had any weapon. The plane resumed its flight to Chicago after spending over an hour at Lambert.
(Reporting by Bruce Olson; Editing by Jerry Norton)