Alexander Michael Herrera of Arizona Tried to Open Jet Door on Descent to Portland, Oregon, FBI Says

Categories: Idiots

herrera-alexander.jpg
Image: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office via kgw.com
Alexander Michael Herrera, 23, of Arizona, was arrested this morning in Portland on suspicion of trying to open a jumbo jet's emergency door as the plane landed.
Arizona resident Alexander Michael Herrera, 23, made "unusual statements" before trying to open a door in the emergency exit row of an Alaska Airlines jet preparing to land this morning in Portland, Oregon, the FBI says.

Herrera was one of 137 passengers on Flight 132, originating from Anchorage. After the airplane landed nine minutes behind schedule, Herrera was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center and likely will make an appearance in federal court on Tuesday, FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele says.

The FBI can't release more info about the type of statements he made at this time, Steele says, adding that investigation is ongoing.

Witnesses interviewed by Portland news media tell of the airborne excitement as Herrera set off an alarm as he tried to open the door at about 5:20 a.m. and was held down by other passengers who restrained him with shoelaces and seat-belt extenders.

NBC affliate KGW reported:

"The woman next to the passenger said, 'Somebody please help,'" witness Henry Pignataro added. "I put him in a choke hold and brought him down to the ground."

Pignataro said he and another man held down the passenger, later identified as 23-year-old Alexander Michael Herrera, and asked the flight attendants whether they had any restraints. He said they brought three sets of shoelaces, which Pignataro and the other man used to bind Herrera's legs.

The flight attendants then brought extra seat belt extensions, and the witnesses used those to further restrain Herrera, Pignataro said.

Pignataro said Herrera was then put into a seat "where he was surrounded by big guys" and sat calmly until the plane landed safely.

Click here for KGW's report.

An Alaska Airlines spokeswoman told the Portland Oregonian that the emergency-exit doors have locks that cannot be opened mid-flight.

But even if that weren't the case, the fact that such doors typically first open inward before swinging out makes it impossible for them to be opened while the cabin is pressurized. According to an article on AskThePilot.com:

It seems that a week can't go by without hearing the latest story about a passenger who went cuckoo and tried to yank open an emergency exit, only to be tackled and restrained by those around him, who thought they were on the verge of being ejected into the troposphere.

While the news never fails to report these events, it seldom mentions the most important fact: You cannot -- repeat, cannot -- open the doors or emergency hatches of an airplane in flight. You can't open them for the simple reason that cabin pressure won't allow it. Think of an aircraft door as a drain plug, fixed in place by the interior pressure.

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24 comments
JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

In this day and age, after all that has gone on aboard aircraft, the best that Alaska Airlines can do is offer some shoelaces and a seat belt extender.  REALLY!!.  That's the best they have to offer?  No cable ties or velcro restraints but they're good to go with shoe laces. 

ClassifiedTiger
ClassifiedTiger

The term is spokesperson. I hate when media is sexist in job titles. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ClassifiedTiger  The job title may be "spokesperson", but this particular spokesperson happened to be a "spokeswoman".

When referring to the general case or to multiple people of mixed gender (or even one person of mixed gender, I suppose), it's proper to be gender-neutral, but when referring to an individual, there's no need.


ray.stern
ray.stern moderator

@valleynative @ClassifiedTiger AP Style is to use spokesman or spokeswoman if the gender is known. For the story about Herrera, FBI public affairs specialist Beth Anne Steele was called a spokeswoman in newspapers ranging from the NY Times to USA Today. The Tiger is free to explain why it's offensive instead of just bitching about it. She's also free to consider that it's poor commenting ethics to hijack the thread about something trivial which has nothing to do with Alexander Herrera's alleged actions on the plane.  

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@rmp2011 @ray.stern  @ClassifiedTiger Hey, be gentle. A person who goes around correcting other people's grammar, even when it is entirely irrelevant to the discussion, likely has obsessive compulsive disorder and can't help herself. https://illinois.edu/blog/view/25/76120. So instead of anger, maybe you can feel some pity for the incredible burden this poor woman carries - an obsessive urge to correct other people's grammar even though she is aware of how incredibly annoying and obnoxious it makes her.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Isn't a female jackass called a jenny?

Or, in our case, a jan

MissUnderstood87
MissUnderstood87

@yourproductsucks @getmeouttahere  I've known Alex for several years now and although he was always open about the bi-polar diagnosis, he has been known to self-medicate. All things considered, it sounds like a manic episode to me.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@ClassifiedTiger I am stuck in the mud, but that is a totally different issue and a funny little story, but that's not the point. I have science on my side (see the grammar police scientific research linked to above). What do you have on your side - the well, you're wrong because I told you you're wrong...ness. Advance your argument past that and I'm happy to give you a listen.

ClassifiedTiger
ClassifiedTiger

@JohnQ.Public @ClassifiedTiger Attempts to anonymously degrade the conversation into a personal attack do not make less of ME. And you are wrong. And re the comment about not arguing with the style book, it's really appalling for a journalist to tell me not to fight city hall. That is shameful. You folks are clearly not going to change, and so I'm out of here, where my time and efforts aren't wasted. No worries. I'm used to this sort of stuck-in-the-mudness, especially from traditional media. 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@ClassifiedTiger You should be aware that there are really good treatments available now for your OCD - you know, the root cause of your burning desire to correct everyone's grammar even though it is irrelevant to the discussion. 

That being said, your underlying assertion is incorrect.  The position is the same, but the individual is not.  The author was referring to a specific individual who is female.  Therefore, using the gender-specific title is appropriate.  Now, if the individual person performing the function was agender or the gender was unknown, then spokesperson would be appropriate.  But as long as we are referring to individuals, using the title appropriate to the individual is more than appropriate.  As much as you'd like this to be a neutered, genderless world, it isn't and will never be.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ClassifiedTiger @valleynative  The reference was not to the position, but to the person who was filling that position.  People have genders, and it's completely proper to refer to them in most cases.

If they were announcing that they had an opening for a new "spokesperson", then they should refer to the position as such.

There's no point in arguing with the Style Guide.


rmp2011
rmp2011

@ClassifiedTiger @ray.stern @valleynative Your far left politically correct BS will eventually get people killed, as in when the media won't your jihadi allies "terrorists" and insist we call them militants.

So please don't be upset if most of think you simply a ROYAL PITA who no one ever wants anything to do with ever again. 

And since you don't want to be treated like a lady, why don't you take your NOW membership card, your Alinsky handbook and your copy of Howard ZInn and put them all someplace very dark.

HO-KAY?

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