updated 8/4/2005 6:02:08 AM ET 2005-08-04T10:02:08

A woman was arrested Wednesday for attempting to open an airplane exit door while the plane was still in the air, police said.

The 52-year-old woman from Dania Beach, Fla., left her seat and tried to open the door as the United Airlines flight was descending into Seattle to land, police said. The plane was at an altitude of about 4,000 feet at the time.

She failed but “did manage to turn the handle far enough that a warning light went on in the cockpit,” Seattle-Tacoma International Airport spokesman Bob Parker told KING-TV.

A flight attendant persuaded the woman to sit back down, but nobody physically restrained her. Parker said the other passengers stayed belted in their seats in case she did manage to open the door.

The woman was arrested for investigation of malicious mischief when the plane landed. Police were investigating whether alcohol and prescription medication were involved.

A United spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment late Wednesday.

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