CLEVELAND, Texas - A Cleveland ISD police officer is being called a hero after she subdued a woman who allegedly tried to open an exit door on a Houston-bound flight.
Officer Pamela Minchew and her children were returning from a family vacation in California Sunday when she saw the woman trying to open the emergency exit door.
Minchew detained the woman and subdued her until the plane was able to land safely.
The flight from Los Angeles was diverted to Corpus Christi.
Minchew said the woman was acting strangely before boarding the Southwest Airlines flight and after it took off.
"She had a blank look on her face. She looked like she needed some attention. She was not all the way coherent with herself. She just looked like she may be on something or lack of being on something," recalled Minchew.
"I knew something wasn't right," another passenger said. "She wrote 'Help me' and her name on (beverage napkins), it was weird, something like you see on TV, you never expect to think you'd be on that same flight."
According to that passenger, the woman wouldn't stay seated and was pacing up and down the aisle.
During a press conference Monday, Minchew praised the Southwest Airlines flight attendants, who she said had the situation under control until the woman tried to open the emergency door.
Minchew said the woman made some bizarre comments about the government while she was restrained.
Minchew admits she's a nervous flyer but said her instincts kicked in and she knew she had to protect her children and other passengers.
She joined the Cleveland ISD Police Department only three weeks ago. Her boss said he's very proud of the way she handled the situation.
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