- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A New York man who forced a United Airlines flight to return to Dulles Airport last year after shouting “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 to interfering with a flight crew earlier this year.

On a March 2015 flight from Dulles, he was tackled by a group of passengers after shouting “jihad” and saying there was something in the belly of the plane.

His defense 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 only a nine-month sentence at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.

Diaz was also ordered to pay $22,000 in restitution to United.


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