PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities have identified a man who jumped out of a jetliner’s galley door to the tarmac as the plane was taxiing to a gate at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Phoenix police said 30-year-old Daniel Ramirez was booked into jail Saturday night on suspicion of two felony counts of trespassing.
It was unclear Sunday if Ramirez has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf about the incident which is under investigation.
Ramirez’s family said he was in Colorado for a tiling job, but wanted to come home because he feared for his life.
They also told Phoenix TV station ABC 15 that Ramirez may be schizophrenic based on their family history.
Theresa Padilla said she video-called her son before he got on the plane.
“I don’t want him to be portrayed as some crazy guy that jumped out off the plane. He was running and hiding because he thought somebody was after him,” Padilla said.
Emily Luevano, Ramirez’s sister-in-law, said she also was on the call.
“We were on the phone with him for seven hours. He was paranoid saying ‘Someone’s going to get me. Someone’s going to kill me,’’’ Luevano told ABC 15.
Ramirez’s family said they didn’t end the call until he boarded the plane to Phoenix.
Ramirez was a passenger on an arriving Southwest Airlines flight from Colorado Springs on Saturday morning when authorities said he opened a rear galley door, jumped out and ran to an airport fire station where he barricaded himself.
Southwest officials said the plane’s captain notified the control tower so authorities could respond to the situation.
The plane with its crew and remaining passengers then went to its designated gate.
Phoenix Fire Department officials said Ramirez entered the airport’s fire station, walked into a dorm room and locked himself inside.
After few minutes, firefighters were able to get Ramirez to unlock the door. He was then evaluated, treated for a lower leg injury and transported to a Phoenix hospital.
Sky Harbor officials said the incident did not delay airport operations.