Air Force Scrambles Planes After United Flight Diverted to Denver

April 22, 2006 - Posted at 1:32 p.m. CST

DENVER (AP) _ Travelers aboard a United Airlines jet diverted to

Denver are thankful for quick action that thwarted a passenger who

claimed to have a bomb.

Three Secret Service agents on board the plane and other

passengers ended up having to overpower the man, who allegedly

tried to open a door while in flight.

As a passenger from California put it: if he'd ``opened the

door, we'd all be dead.'' The Chicago-bound Airbus had 138

passengers and six crew members aboard.

Another witness described the scene as more of a bar fight. He

said he saw the passenger tackled and put into a chokehold.

Air Force jets were scrambled to intercept the plane, which then

landed in Denver. No injuries were reported, and the plane

continued on to its destination.

The passenger, identified as Jose Manuel Pelayo-Ortega, is in

custody will face a court hearing on Monday.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)