United Airlines Passenger Convicted of Drug Trafficking, Sex Crimes

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The passenger who was dragged off a United Airlines flight against his will on Sunday night has been identified.

And he has quite the sordid history.

To be clear up front: This doesn't make the heinous actions of United, or the tone deaf statements made by United's CEO, any less heinous or tone deaf.

But this is still a newsworthy follow-up to the original story.

David Dao

According to TMZ, the 69-year old doctor who refused to give up his seat on this now-infamous United flight is named David Dao.

In 2005, Dao was charged with 98 felony drug counts for illegally prescribing and trafficking painkillers.

Prosecutors claimed at the time that Dao fraudulently and illegally filled prescriptions for hydocodone, Oxycontin and Percocet.

Dao, who a decade later is best known for having his face bloodied (see images above and below) by members of the Chicago Police Department, was also convicted on six felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit.

He was given five years probation for these crimes.

But this wasn't all: Dao was also convicted for writing prescriptions and checks to a patient in exchange for sex.

United Passenger

Based on medical board documents obtained by TMZ, Dao denied paying for sex.

However, the physician indicated he did accept sexual favors from an associate in exchange for reducing a debt that associate owed him. (Editor's Note: WTF, dude?!?)

In February of 2005, Dao gave up his Kentucky medical license.

TMZ has also dug deep and learned that Dao turned to the professional poker circuit during this time, when he was not permitted to actually work as a doctor.

He started playing at tournaments in July of 2006 and finished second in a 2009 tournament, walking away with more than $117,000 as a result.

Overall, Dao banked $234,664 in World Series of Poker events over the years.

In 2015, the Kentucky medical board lifted Dao's suspension and allowed him to practice medicine with a few restrictions; as of last year, he may only practice internal medicine in an outpatient facility one day a week.

Which brings us back to Sunday and United flight 3411.

And this VERY disturbing video:

Dao was randomly selected by the airline after no passengers were willing to accept $800 in exchange to take a later flight (because the company overbooked this one and needed four employees to take the spots of passengers who had already paid for their seats).

But he refused to get up from his seat.

Witnesses (one of whom filmed the footage above) claim Dao told United employees that he had patients to attend to early Monday morning and simply could not afford to change his plans.

After attempting to verbally convince Dao to depart the plane, flight attendants contacted other authorities, who eventually dragged Dao away, injuring his face and causing him extreme distress in the process.

Video of this incident quickly went viral, with social media users outraged over Dao's treatment.

In response, United CEO Oscar Munoz Tweeted his lame apology over the need to “re-accommodate” customers such as Dao.

"Our team is moving with the sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened," Munoz added.

"We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve the situation.”

united comment

We have a feeling it will get resolved.

And the resulting check to Dao will dwarf this controversial doctor's lifetime poker winnings.

Since the assault (really, what else can we call it?) occurred, United’s stock has fallen by 3.7%; that equates to approximately $830 million wiped off its market capitalization.

Many are calling for a boycott of the airline, especially residents of China, who believe Dao was chosen to be kicked off the plane due to his ethnic background.

Mark Cuban has echoed this sentiment and call to action, referring on Twitter to United's handling of the situation as "appalling" and "sickening" and adding:

"Definitely time to boycott #unitedAIRLINES."

a plane

Jimmy Kimmel also had a field day with the incident during his monologue last night.

“Imagine if this happened in any other industry,” Kimmel said. “Imagine if this happened at Applebee’s.”

It's sort of true, right?

Imagine if you made a reservation at Applebee's and were sitting down for your meal... but then the restaurant said you had to leave because it had booked more reservations that night than there were tables inside the establishment.

That's the exact same thing that airlines do ALL THE TIME.

Kimmel went on to joke about Munoz's ridiculous attempt at a mea culpa.

“It’s like when we re-accommodated El Chapo out of Mexico,” Kimmel quipped, before getting more serious.

“That is such sanitized, say nothing, take no responsibility, corporate B.S. speak. I don’t know how the guy who sent that tweet didn’t vomit when he typed it up.”


At least the celebrities featured in the slideshow below actually did some $hit that earned them a one-way ticket off their airplane ride...

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