Passengers aboard American Eagle flight 4305 from New York had quite a scare on Wednesday when a Saudi Arabian student tried to open the cabin door while the plane was in mid-air.
20-year-old Abdulaziz Mubarak Alshammari reportedly strolled back and forth down the plane, acting erratically, before he began tugging on the locked cabin door.
Passengers aboard the Indianapolis-bound flight quickly pulled the man away and returned him to his seat.
The incident occurred about a half hour before the flight was to land at Indianapolis International Airport at 10 p.m.
Alshammari appeared confused when flight attendants and police questioned him and seemed to speak little English, according to police reports.
Investigators photocopied a note Alshammari wrote in Arabic while on the plane, but he was not charged.
Captain James K. Kolostyak said he heard someone trying to open the cabin door and saw the interior door warning light come on in the cockpit, according to WISH TV. He called a flight attendant on the plane's phone system and asked what was going on.
The attendant was at the back of the plane at the time, and Alshammari was led back to his seat by fellow passenger Rodney Bailey.
He tried [to open the door] twice, Bailey told WISH TV. I just threw down my stuff and jumped out of my seat and ran to the door. I pulled him by the arm and tried to get him behind me.
I've flown more than two million miles with American Airlines; I've never seen anything like this. I felt like my life flashed before my eyes.
Bailey claimed that he had travelled all over the world and didn't want to die over a corn field in Indiana. When he asked Alshammari if he was looking for the bathroom, the man he shook his head.
Though Alshammari claimed to be a student at the University of Indianapolis, the university had no records of him. He is believed to go to a language academy near the university, Internexus Indianapolis, that has several Saudi students that are sent to the university after they complete courses, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Alshammari said he flew from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Doha, Qatar, to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York before heading to Indianapolis.
Police contacted The Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center and the FBI Terrorist Screening Center to run checks. When records indicated that Alshammari wasn't on any watch list, he was freed and no charges were filed.
According to police reports, TSA would not respond to the scene.
TSA was notified of the incident onboard American Eagle flight 4305 from John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Indianapolis International Airport, TSA Spokesperson Jim Fotenos said in a statement.
The flight landed safely and local law enforcement responded. TSA monitored the situation and was satisfied with the actions taken by local and federal law enforcement.