Aviation Cop Gives His Version of United Incident

He says physician was 'flailing, fighting'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 25, 2017 6:59 AM CDT
Aviation Cop Gives His Version of United Incident
This Sunday, April 9, 2017, image made from a video provided by Audra D. Bridges shows Dao being removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago.   (Audra D. Bridges via AP)

The physician who was dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago this month was verbally and physically abusive, and flailing his arms before he lost his balance and struck his mouth on an armrest, according to the aviation officer who pulled the man out of his seat. The Chicago Department of Aviation on Monday released the officer's report in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the AP. In the report, officer James Long says he boarded the flight after being called in response to a disturbance involving a refusal to leave the aircraft. He says he approached Dr. David Dao to ask the 69-year-old physician to get off the plane. Long said Dao refused and "folded his arms tightly."

Long says he reached out to "hold" Dao and was able to pull him away from his window seat toward the aisle. "But suddenly the subject started flailing and fighting," Long writes. Dao then knocked Long's hand off his arm, causing the struggling Dao to fall and strike his mouth on an arm rest on the other side of the aisle, according to the report. Long says he then dragged Dao because Dao refused to stand up. Long says that once off the plane and in the walkway back to the gate, Dao got up off the floor and ran back onto the aircraft, saying they'd have to kill him. Dao's attorney says the doctor suffered a broken nose and a concussion, and lost two front teeth. Long and two other officers have been suspended. (More David Dao stories.)

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