(AP/KMOV.com) -- A Continental flight heading from Houston to Chicago was diverted to St. Louis after officials say a disruptive passenger attempted to open the emergency exit door.
Authorities said 34-year-old Reynel C. Alcaide, of Burbank, IL, boarded Continental flight 546 in Houston, TX, destined for Chicago, IL. After the flight had taken off and was in flight to Chicago, Alcaide exited his seat and rushed up the aisle toward the front of the aircraft.
A flight attendant unsuccessfully attempted to stop Alcaide but he pinned the flight attendant against the wall and repeatedly attempted to unlatch, cycle, and open the door in mid flight.
Alcaide was eventually subdued by passengers and crew members. As a result of Alcaide’s actions, Continental flight 546 was diverted to and landed in St. Louis, MO at Lambert International Airport.
Continental spokeswoman Julie King said Flight No. 546 landed around 1:30 p.m. at Lambert International Airport safely and without incident. The remaining passengers continued to their Chicago destination after an hour delay.
Aviation experts say it is impossible to open a door during flight because of pressurized air in the cabin.
Alcaide was charged with a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 32, (crimes involving aircraft), and a violation of Title 49, United States Code, Section 46504 (interference with flight crew members and attendants).
He is being held in the St. Louis area in state custody, and will be transferred over to federal.
Officials said the incident has no apparent links to terrorism.