Passenger charges cockpit, beats attendant on N.J.-bound flight, police say

Marco Green
January 13, 2020

Police took a man into custody after he allegedly assaulted a flight attendant and attempted to storm the plane's cockpit last week.

Passengers on a flight into New Jersey from DC had a scare as the United Express plane started to land in Newark on Thursday evening, reports NBC New York.

CommutAir Chief Operating Officer Joel Raymond said via a statement that once the flight landed, police officers were called to assist the disruptive passenger.

Passenger Mike Egbert says that Matthew Dingley got up and went into a "full sprint" toward the cockpit, ramming into the door and starting to bang on it.

CommutAir flight 4965, operating as United Express, landed "without incident" at Newark Liberty International Airport at about 9 p.m. and was met by law enforcement on the tarmac, according to CommutAir.

A witness on the flight said 28-year-old Matthew Dingley sprinted down the aisle toward the cockpit as the United Express flight was about to touch down, and Dingley viciously beat a flight attendant who tried to stop him.

Matthew Dingley, 28, of NY, was arrested Thursday for injuring the flight attendant and six officers, including one who was hospitalized with four broken ribs.

A passenger on the plane said Dingley tried to enter the cockpit. Other passengers on the plane stepped in to help the attendant and brought the situation under control, Egbert said. When the plane stopped and the doors opened, Dingley allegedly charged at the responding officers causing them to fall down the stairs used for passengers and hit the pavement, said Scott Ladd, a spokesman for the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey.

Officers were eventually able to restrain Dingley.

Egbert described the incident further: "He picks up a police officer, throws the police officer...his back".

The man was charged with aggravated assault, criminal trespassing, resisting arrest, and interfering with transportation.

"Our primary concern is always to ensure the safety of all customers and crew and we are cooperating with authorities", CommutAir told ABC News on Sunday.

According to the NBC report, Dingley was arrested in 2016 for leading police on a chase in North Carolina.

As reported by NJ.com, the suspect was placed in the Essex County Correctional Facility after he was charged with aggravated assault, criminal trespassing, resisting arrest, and interfering with transportation.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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