Airline passenger attacks flight attendant, injures six police officers: Authorities

Essex County Correctional Facility(NEW YORK) — A flight attendant and several police officers were injured when a passenger reportedly became disruptive on a New Jersey-bound flight, authorities revealed over the weekend.

Matthew Dingley, 28, allegedly attacked an attendant on a CommutAir flight from Washington, D.C., to Newark Thursday night and charged at responding police officers when the plane landed, authorities said Sunday.

CommutAir flight 4965, operating as United Express, landed “without incident” at Newark Liberty International Airport at about 9 p.m. and was met by law enforcement on the tarmac, according to CommutAir.

The airline declined to offer any details about the alleged encounter between Dingley and the flight attendant, but it confirmed that the flight did have trouble with a “disruptive passenger.”
 
“Our primary concern is always to ensure the safety of all customers and crew and we are cooperating with authorities,” CommutAir told ABC News on Sunday. “We express our gratitude for the quick reaction of our passengers, crew and police officers who responded during this incident.”

United Express, which is a regional branch of United Airlines, did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Officials told Washington ABC affiliate WJLA-TV that Dingley rushed at six Port Authority police officers when the plane came to a stop on the tarmac and the plane’s door opened, causing them to fall down the plane’s exit stairs.

The officers were treated for non-life threatening injuries sustained during the altercation, according to WJLA. One of the six suffered four broken ribs, the outlet said.

The officers and the attendant had each been released as of Sunday evening. Police did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Dingley was charged with aggravated assault, criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and interfering with transportation, court records showed. It’s unclear if he has retained an attorney.

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