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Doctor Dragged Off United Flight Was Convicted of Drug Charges in 2004

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By    |   Tuesday, 11 Apr 2017 01:57 PM

The man who was taken off a United Airlines flight bloodied Sunday night has been identified as a doctor whose past includes drug convictions from 13 years ago.

The video of 69-year-old David Dao at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has gone viral and sparked a firestorm of criticism directed at the airline, which had to kick four passengers off the flight in order to make room for four United Airlines employees who did not have tickets.

According to the Courier-Journal, Dao lives in Kentucky and lost his license to practice medicine for 10 years, from 2005-2010, after he was convicted of several felony drug charges. The paper reported that Dao was involved in writing fraudulent prescriptions for drugs as a pulmonologist in Elizabethtown, Ky.

Dao's medical license was returned in 2015. His wife Dr. Teresa Dao is also a pulmonologist and runs a clinic in Elizabethtown.

Neither Dao nor his wife have spoken to any media outlets. The Courier-Journal contacted the Elizabethtown clinic and was told by staff members the couple did not want to talk to the media.

Videos of the incident show security officers ripping Dao out of his seat after he refused to leave the airplane when his name was selected by airline staff to disembark in order to help make room for the United employees who needed to catch the flight to Louisville.

Dao then appeared to fall onto an armrest across the aisle, which seemed to daze him and left his face bloodied. He was then dragged out of the cabin by his arms, although minutes later he somehow ran back onto the plane before he was removed again.

Progressive news website Think Progress argued that Dao's criminal past should have no bearing on the situation — and that it's highly unlikely police knew about his background before dragging him off the plane.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, meanwhile, commended security officers and his airline staff for responding to what he called Dao's "disruptive and belligerent" behavior.

"Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this," Munoz wrote in a company email. "While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right."

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The man who was taken off a United Airlines flight bloodied Sunday night has been identified as a doctor whose past includes drug convictions from 13 years ago.
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2017-57-11
Tuesday, 11 Apr 2017 01:57 PM
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