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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SMPD: Retired Officer helped subdue dangerous airline passenger

  SMPD Applauds Retired Officer Larry Wright for Courageous In-Flight Assistance in Subduing Unruly Passenger

Retired San Mateo Police Officer Larry Wright spoke at a press conference earlier today at SFO describing the situation in which he and others had to intervene during an American Airlines flight from Chicago to SFO.

Larry Wright was one of the passengers aboard American Airlines Flight 1561 on Sunday evening who helped subdue passenger Rageh Al-murisi after Al-murisi had quickly walked up to the cockpit doors and began banging on them about 30 minutes before the flight was to land at SFO. Al-murisi’s yelling and banging on the cockpit door immediately alerted airline personnel to a potential problem.

A male flight attendant tackled Al-murisi and at this point other crew members and passengers, including retired police officer Larry Wright, assisted in placing Al-murisi in plastic handcuffs until the plane landed at SFO. Al-murisi was turned over to SFO Authorities once the plane landed.

San Mateo Police Department Chief Susan Manheimer said “I am very proud of Larry Wright’s heroic actions as well as the heroic actions of American Airlines personnel and other passengers for their assistance during this extremely intense situation aboard an in flight airplane.”

Larry Wright served the citizens of San Mateo with distinction as a member of the San Mateo Police Department for 26 years before retiring in 2007. While working to protect the community, Larry was recognized for several accomplishments during his career.

In January 1985, Larry was nominated for the National Auto Theft and Department of Motor vehicle 10851 Award for his ability to detect stolen cars.

In July 1985, CHP in conjunction with CA State Automobile Association awarded Larry the California 10851 Award for his outstanding achievements in vehicle theft recoveries.

In May 1986, Larry was appointed as a K-9 handler and this resulted in many successful narcotic and burglar detections, not only for San Mateo Police department but as well as other agencies all throughout the Peninsula.

In 1996, Larry was appointed to the detective bureau and was immediately assigned to fraud because of his outstanding skills and ability to handle fraud cases.

In 2001, Larry started supporting the San Mateo Police Activities League (PAL) through numerous programs, including deep sea fishing, rodeo, indoor rock climbing and certified coordinator for the ROPES course. Larry was instrumental in arranging scholarships for 18 PAL kids to attend the Science and Nature Adventures for Kid Explorers Camp in Palo Alto. Larry was the recipient of the PAL Officer of the month Award three times (Sept. 2003, Sept. 2004 and January 2005).

Larry earned several Best Arrest Awards and Watch Commander Commendations and received accolades from citizens and other agencies for his excellent investigation skills and community policing.

Larry has received praise from his peers and supervisors for meritorious police work, for his work as a counselor for the peer support team, critical response team, his Spanish translation skills and for setting up the Forensic Video Project.

Larry Wright has requested that any further media inquiries regarding this incident as it applies to his background at San Mateo Police Department or his personal involvement in the aforementioned incident be directed to the following personnel at San Mateo Police Department:

Lt. Ted Gonzales (650) 522-7687
Sgt. Dave Norris (650) 522-7626

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Please help us make your neighborhood safer and take a stand against crime. Please report all criminal behavior, join a neighborhood watch program, and help anyone that might fall victim to a crime. If a Neighborhood Watch doesn’t exist on your block, you can start one with help from SMPD. For additional information about the City of San Mateo Neighborhood Watch Program, call Sergeant Dave Norris at (650)522-7626 or visit our web

This ‘Press Release / Community Information' is being sent to you by The Public Information Office of the San Mateo Police Department.
200 Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, CA 94403

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