Man locks self in plane cockpit, faces charges
An American Eagle plane sits on the tarmac after a man shoved past crewmembers Aug. 22, 2012, and locked himself in a cockpit at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport in Baton Rouge, La. / WAFB-TV
(CBS/AP) BATON ROUGE, La. - A passenger officials described as "distraught" when he shoved past crewmembers Wednesday and locked himself in a cockpit surrendered to authorities who cut the power so he couldn't start the empty airplane.
Andrew Alessi forced his way past two American Eagle agents and ran down the jet way to the aircraft around noon, half an hour before it was scheduled to start boarding, said Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport spokesman Jim Caldwell said.
Officials said when Alessi got onto the empty plane around 11:30 a.m. he ignored the commands of an agent cleaning it and went into the cockpit, locking the door behind him, CBS Baton Rouge WAFB-TV reports.
"He stayed there for several hours while police and FBI negotiated with him. He eventually came out voluntarily," Caldwell said.
WAFB-TV reports oxygen was also cut externally from the plane. Alessi surrendered to police just before 3 p.m. The airport remained open during the ordeal.
Alessi bought his ticket at the airport shortly before boarding, cleared security with a piece of carry-on luggage and didn't have any weapons, he said. The flight, which was headed to Dallas/Fort Worth, was canceled and passengers were being accommodated, he said.
No other flights were delayed.
FBI spokesman Kyle Hanrahan said Alessi, of Baton Rouge, likely will be charged with interfering with a flight crew.
"I think he was distraught. I don't know specifically why he did what he did," Hanrahan said.
A Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman said Alessi is in federal custody and will be booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison when they are done with their investigation.
No one answered the phone at a number listed for Alessi and the voicemail box was full. American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the airline will be reviewing their security procedures going forward.
Popular on CBSNews.com
- Bridge collapse blamed on tractor-trailer 271 Comments
- Washington state bridge collapses 20 Photos
- Port Authority releases photo of One WTC workers at dizzying heights
- Best U.S. beaches 2013 10 Photos
- No fatalities in I-5 bridge collapse in NW Wash. 137 Comments
- Earthquake, multiple aftershocks jolt Californians
- Boy Scouts approve plan to accept openly gay boys 1097 Comments
- Clean-up efforts underway in Okla. 29 Photos