Man Tried Opening Plane Door to Commit Suicide: Prosecutor

A federal prosecutor said Monday Reynel Alcaide, 34, of Burbank had tried to commit suicide before

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    The Burbank man who tried opening a Continental Airlines door mid-flight last week was trying to commit suicide, prosecutors say.

    Reynel Alcaide, 34, had tried to commit suicide before, a federal prosecutor said Monday during a hearing, according to the Associated Press. The judge postponed setting bail and ordered a psychiatric exam.

    According to an affidavit filed last week, Alcaide exited his seat on May 8 on Continental Airlines Flight 546 and rushed up the aisle toward the front of the aircraft. A flight attendant tried to stop him, but he pinned the attendant against the wall while repeatedly attempting to unlatch and open the door mid-flight.

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    Unruly passengers cause problems on flights.

    Alcaide was subdued by passengers and crewmembers, and the flight was diverted to Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.

    The Burbank man was charged with a violation of Title 18 (crimes involving aircraft) and a violation of Title 49 (interference with flight crew members and attendants).

    If convicted, each offense carries maximum penalties of 20 years in prison.