A little over two weeks after United Airlines forcibly “re-accomodated” Dr. David Dao from his seat on a Chicago to Louisville flight, which led to some horrible-sounding injuries and United changing company policy to avoid a similar future incident, incident reports filed by the Chicago Department of Aviation officers involved have surfaced that claim Dao balled his hands into fists and swung his arms before he was dragged down the aisle and out of the plane.
In separate reports, officers Mauricio Rodriguez and James Long confirmed the accounts of passengers but added the wrinkle that Dao “started swinging his arms up and down” during the incident.
However and as seen in followup videos of the incident shot by a couple sitting behind him on Flight 341, Dao does not appear to do anything like the officers describe. Verbally refuse to leave the flight? Yes. Try to punch the officers? No.
The Cummingses told CNN in a phone interview three days after the incident that Dao was not belligerent and got only mildly upset when a second officer arrived, demanding he leave the plane, they said. Dao never raised his voice, the couple said.
The officers’ reports offer a much different interpretation of the incident:
They were called to the plane in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport because of a passenger “yelling about leaving the aircraft.”
“I’m not getting off,” Dao told officers in an aggressive manner, according to Rodriguez’s report. “I’m not leaving this flight that I paid money for. I don’t care if I get arrested.”
The four officers named in the report were placed on leave following the incident, but an investigation by the union representing the officers on the Chicago Department of Aviation is ongoing.
Dao’s attorney, Thomas Demetrio, disagreed with the officers’ accounts and still plans to file a lawsuit against United and the city of Chicago.