Reynel C. Alcaide, Continental Passenger Who Tried To Open Plane Door, Was Trying To Kill Himself

Posted May 17th 2011 12:00 PM

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AP File

An Illinois man who tried to open the door on a Chicago-bound flight on May 8th was trying to kill himself, according to a St. Louis court affidavit.

The 34-year old man, Reynel C. Alcaide, was flying from Houston to Chicago on Mother's Day when he pinned a flight attendant against a wall shortly after take off and tried to open an emergency door repeatedly, authorities said at the time.

He was subdued by passengers and the flight diverted to St. Louis, where "police officers boarded the plane and found the disruptive passenger on the floor near the front of the plane, being detained by a flight attendant and two passengers," an St. Louis airport spokesman told Reuters.

A court affidavit claims that Alcaide was trying to "end his life" and was not concerned about the safety of the other passengers aboard the flight.

In a hearing on Monday, a St. Louis prosecutor said that Alcaide had tried to commit suicide before, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Alcaide was charged with a crime involving an aircraft and interfering with a flight crew on May 9th.


An assistant U.S. attorney told the St. Louis court on Monday that Alcaide had been returning from an international trip to visit family at the time of the incident. Alcaide told court interviewers that he was having marital problems and planned to move out of the home he shares with his wife.


A judge has postponed a decision on setting bail and has instead ordered Alcaide to get a psychiatric evaluation. Alcaide's attorney asked that he be treated in a hospital, not jail, the Associated Press reports.


This incident was amongst a slew of such incidents that occurred earlier this month. Minutes from landing in San Francisco, an American Airlines passenger yelled "God is great!" and attempted to storm the cockpit on May 8th. On May 10th, a Delta passenger on a Boston-bound flight tried to open an emergency door but was subdued.

Filed Under: Air Travel, News