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Police & Fire

Upstate NY Man Goes Berserk, Beats Flight Attendant, Breaks Officer's Ribs, Authorities Charge

Matthew Dingley
Matthew Dingley Photo Credit: COURTESY: Dare County (NC) Sheriff’s Office

An upstate New York man went berserk on a flight to Newark,  barreling into the cockpit door and pummeling a female attendant before injuring one of six Port Authority police officers in a brawl on the tarmac, authorities said.

United Airlines Flight 4965 from Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. had almost reached Newark Liberty International Airport shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9 when passengers said Matthew Dingley went off.

Dingley, 28, of Wynantsville, in Rensselaer County, sprinted to the cockpit door and began banging on it, then attacked the much smaller attendant when she tried to stop him, they said.

A passenger with a law enforcement background came to the rescue, subduing Dingley -- who, records show, has a criminal history in Rensselaer County. But it didn't end there.

A group of Port Authority officers waiting on the tarmac at Terminal C pulled the retractable stairs from the plane door. As soon as the door opened, Dingley charged them, police said.

An officer who got knocked off the portable stairway was hospitalized with four broken ribs, Port Authority police said.

The attendant also required hospital attention, as did Dingley, they said.

Dingley was later charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest, among other offenses. 

He'll likely face more serious federal charges, as well.

Dingley has a criminal history, including an arrest stemming from a 2016 stolen car chase in the town of Duck, North Carolina, and a conviction following a trial in Albany the following year for a DWI a crash on I-787, records show.

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