ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A New York man who forced a United Airlines flight to return to northern Virginia’s Dulles Airport after shouting the word “jihad” and rushing the cockpit has been sentenced to nine months in prison.
Thirty-six-year-old David Patrick Diaz of Poughkeepsie, New York, pleaded guilty earlier this year to interfering with a flight crew.
On a March 2015 flight from Dulles to Denver, Colorado, he was tackled by a group of passengers after shouting “jihad” and saying there was something in the belly of the plane.
His lawyer said Diaz has problems with mental illness and alcohol.
Prosecutors sought a sentence of 21 months, but a judge at federal court in Alexandria imposed a nine-month sentence at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.
Diaz also was ordered to pay $22,000 in restitution to United.