A man has been charged with assault and resisting arrest after a raucous flight from Washington to Newark on United Airlines.
Matthew Dingley, 28, was on UA4965, a late-evening flight from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Newark (EWR) on an Embraer 145 regional jet, operated by United Express partner Commutair.
Just prior to landing, Dingley bolted his seat and made a sprint for the flight deck.
Mike Egbert, a passenger onboard, shared what happened next to NBC 4:
“This guy was in a full sprint, right up to the cockpit, hits the cockpit, starts banging on it.”
A flight attendant tried to intervene, but when she did Dingley turned his aggressions toward her.
Egbert called her “a slight woman, petite” and noted “this guy was clocking her.” That’s when Egbert, sitting in row two, and a couple other passengers intervened. Dingley was restrained and the aircraft landed in Newark.
Police Treated As Bowling Pin On Ground
Police met the aircraft, which arrived in Terminal C. But Dingley wasn’t done yet. Instead, he charged a group of police officers walking up the aircraft’s stairs, knocking one over and causing four broken ribs.
“He picks up a police officer, throws the police officer…his back. If he did actually get into that cockpit lord knows what would have happened.”
Finally, the man was restrained. It took six police officers.
This wasn’t Dingley’s first encounter with the law. In 2016 he led police on a car chase in North Carolina. In 2017 he was arrested in New York for driving under the influence…
But Egbert’s question is a fair one. If he did actually get into that cockpit who knows what would have happened…
The flight attendants and police officers were hospitalized, but are expected to make a full recovery.
image: Lord of the Wings / Wikimedia Commons