The daughter of the United passenger dragged off a plane over the weekend told reporters her father is a loving grandfather who did not deserve the mistreatment that left him with a concussion and horrific facial injuries.
Crystal Dao Pepper, daughter of Dr. David Dao, spoke Thursday at a press conference in Chicago, where her father remains hospitalized.
“We were horrified and shocked and sickened to learn what had happened to him and to see what had happened to him,” she said. “It has been a very difficult time for our entire family and we are grateful for your support.
“My dad is a wonderful father,” Pepper added. “He has raised with my mother five great children who had gone on to do great things and will continue to do great things. He is a loving grandfather,” she boasted.
Her comments came as her father’s injuries were revealed, and they’re much more serious than what was first reported.
Dao, a 69-year-old Kentucky physician suffered a “significant” concussion, a broken nose, damaged sinuses, and had two teeth knocked out as he was forcefully removed from the flight.
His lawyer, Tom Demetrio, said the doctor will require reconstructive surgery.
He called the police officers who dragged Dr. Dao from the plane “stormtroopers.” All three were suspended following the incident.
The incident happened just before takeoff on the Chicago-to-Louisville flight Sunday.
The plane was overbooked and four United employees needed seats. The crew asked for volunteers to take a later flight, but when no one came forward, four passengers were chosen at random by a computer and asked to leave.
Dr. Dao refused to leave, saying he was a doctor and had patients to see Monday morning.
After he was dragged off the plane, he somehow wound up back on the aircraft, shouting, “I want to go home” as blood poured from his mouth and streaked across his face.
Every passenger was ordered off so they could clean up the plane. The aircraft eventually departed.
The CEO of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz, has since apologized for the incident.