Violent’ Passenger Forces Flight To Return To Dulles

WASHINGTON — A Denver-bound flight returned to Dulles International Airport Monday evening after a passenger caused a disturbance, authorities said.

“We had a passenger becoming violent. No weapons involved. He’s restrained by other passengers now, though,” the pilot is heard telling air traffic control in a recording. “We don’t know his mental health condition. Sounds like he’s restrained for now. We just need to get on the ground.”

The Boeing 737 with 33 passengers and a crew of six returned at about 10:40 p.m. ET, according to airport authorities.

United spokesman Luke Punzenberger said in an e-mailed statement that Flight 1074 returned after takeoff when a passenger failed to comply with crew instructions. He said local law enforcement met the aircraft at the gate and detained the passenger.

Airport spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs said the passenger was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

Flight 1074 departed at about around 10:23 p.m. Eastern time. The incident began about 15 minutes into the flight, the airport officials said.

One passenger told NBC News that other passengers had to tackle the disruptive flyer after he tried to reach the cockpit and he made claims that he had a bomb.

John R. Ford told NBC News that fellow passengers checked the man for explosives and none were found. The passenger also repeatedly apologized, Ford told NBC.

Airport officials said there was no impact to airport operations. According to, Flight 1074 left Dulles just before 1 a.m. local time and safely landed in Denver just before 2:30 a.m. local time.

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