Sometimes police are there to help in the most unlikely of places.
Last week, for example, a man with “law enforcement experience” was traveling on an airplane and was able to assist in handling an unruly passenger.
The deranged male passenger was identified as 28-year-old Matthew Dingley, a New York resident. He was reportedly sitting in the second row of a United Airlines Express flight from Dulles International Airport in D.C. to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. When the plane was close to landing, Dingley apparently started acting “erratic” and making other passengers nervous.
For reasons not yet known, he got up and charged towards to cockpit door, banging his fists against it.
During the banging, a pilot announced, “Alright [flight] 4965, just for your advise, we have an unruly passenger in the back. We’ll monitor the situation, let you know if anything changes.”
A female flight attendant approached him to attempt to calm him down and have him return to his seat. Dingley reportedly attacked her, punching her several times.
Mike Egbert, another passenger on the flight, spoke to reporters after the incident. “This guy was in a full sprint,” he said, “right up to the cockpit, hits the cockpit, starts banging on it.”
Egbert described the flight attendant as “A slight woman, petite, and this guy was clocking her.”
At that time, the man with apparent law enforcement experience, as well as other passengers, came to the flight attendant’s aid. The passengers were able to get Dingley restrained and the flight safely landed without further incident.
Once police attempted to take custody of Dingley, however, that changed.
Officers with the Port Authority Police approached the plane utilizing the portable metal stairs that roll up to the plane, presumably so they didn’t have to walk an in-custody Dingley through the airport terminal full of travelers.
“This guy was in a full sprint, right up to the cockpit, hits the cockpit, starts banging on it,” & physically assaulted a female flight attendant who tried to stop him. Dulles-to-Newark #United flight. Passengers intervened & he was arrested on landing. https://t.co/SbquNTNf0b
— Nina Bernstein (@NinaBernstein1) January 13, 2020
As soon as the door to the plane opened, Dingley charged towards the unsuspecting officers, causing more than one of them to fall down the stairs.
Other officers arrived to assist. Egbert got a good look at the arrest as well, which apparently didn’t come easily for police.
“He [Dingley] picks up a police officer, throws the police officer,” Egbert told reporters.
He added, “If he did actually get into that cockpit lord knows what would have happened.”
The flight attendant was taken to a hospital for her injuries suffered during the attack and was released Sunday evening.
One officer suffered four broken ribs when he was shoved off of the stairs.
Five other officers reported minor injuries.
Dingley wasn’t said to have any serious injuries, but his mugshot shows several scrapes and bruises on his face.
Dingley was eventually arrested and charged with aggravated assault, criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and interfering with transportation. He was taken to the Essex County Correctional Facility.
Egbert said the flight attendant was a hero for her attempts to intervene in Dingley’s attempts to get the cockpit door open.
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An airline spokesperson released a statement regarding the incident.
It read, “CommutAir flight 4965, operating as United Express from Washington Dulles to Newark, landed without incident and was met by local law enforcement due to a disruptive passenger. Our primary concern is always to ensure the safety of all customers and crew and we are cooperating with authorities. We express our gratitude for the quick reaction of our passengers and crew who responded during this incident. “
Reports show that Dingley was arrested in 2016 in North Carolina after leading police on a car chase and spent a year in jail at that time. In New York in 2017, he was arrested for DWI after crashing his car on the highway.
Again, no motive has been established for the outburst in the plane or the attack on the flight attendant and police.
Meanwhile, another officer in Tennessee is fighting for his life after being struck by a drunk driver.
In Memphis, Tennessee, an officer is in critical condition thanks to 32-year-old Cadarius Davis. The officer was in his car with blue lights on, blocking traffic for road workers to fix downed power lines that had been damaged during a severe storm.
Davis, driving under the influence of alcohol, had her 2-year-old and 3-year-old in her Chevy Equinox when she crashed into the police car. She also had an empty bottle of whiskey on the passenger side of the vehicle.
The officer was initially trapped inside his vehicle. Once freed, he was transported to Regional One Health Medical Center with a concussion, fractured tailbone and fractured pelvis.
Davis and her children were uninjured in the collision.
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A local resident, Dennis Lynch, came outside when he heard the crash. He told reporters that the road the accident occurred on is a busy road as it is. Lynch said that vehicles continue speeding through the intersection despite power crews and police in the area.
“There were cars still going past here, fast,” he said, “and some of them ran over the power lines that were on the streets and actually someone ran into a tree.”
Davis was arrested and faces charges of child neglect, failure to exercise due care, driving under the influence, violation of financial law, public intoxication, reckless driving, and vehicular assault. She is set to see a judge Monday morning.
JUST IN: MPD officer injured after a car slammed into his patrol car on McLean near Overton Park early Sunday. Cadarius Davis was arrested and is facing several charges… @WMCActionNews5 pic.twitter.com/wCFhpEp6Aa
— Brandon Richard (@BrandonLRichard) January 12, 2020
The whereabouts of her children after Davis’ arrest was not reported, nor was a more recent update on the officer’s condition.
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