(CBS) — The aviation officers in the United passenger-dragging fiasco at O’Hare say they used “minimal force” and that the passenger was the aggressive one.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
The reports released Monday says Dr. David Dao fought back before he was bodily removed from the Louisville-bound plane.
It started calmly enough April 9, after a United Airlines employee called the city’s aviation police department for help. But that was as calm as it got.
In the ensuing minutes, the situation culminated when aviation police officer James Long, assisted by two others, dragged Dao off the plane.
In the video released after a CBS 2 freedom-of-information request, you can see officers arrive one by one to the gate after that first call. The number of emergency vehicles outside the aircraft continue to grow, and an ambulance arrives.
Dao’s lawyer claims he lost two front teeth and suffered a concussion in the incident.
In his report, Long states Dao “started swinging his arms up and down fast and violently” and then “started flailing his arms and started to fight.”
Long said Dao was injured when he hit his arm, causing him to lose his grip, and his face smashed against an armrest.
Assisting officer Mauricio Rodriguez states Long used “minimal but necessary force,” which policy allows.
Once Dao was forcibly removed, one reports states he ran back onto the plane, stating, “I’m not getting off this plane. Just kill me. I want to go home.”
Airport video shows the ambulance eventually taking Dao to the hospital.
In all, three aviation police officers and a veteran security officer were involved. Officer Long, the one who dragged Dao from his seat, had just returned to work after a five-day suspension for insubordination.
Dao’s attorney now says a lawsuit will be filed.
Dao and other passengers were selected to exit the plane to make room for United employees that needed to get to Louisville.