The 17-year old US citizen, who was described as being fidgety and anxious during the flight, had just arrived about 2:30 p.m. after traveling alone from Panama City onboard Copa Airlines, according to the Associated Press.
A crew member shut the door and the plane safely taxied to the gate, the airline said.
Officials say the teen was not injured but was transported to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation. It is a federal law to open an emergency exit on a plane without having been instructed to do so by the crew.
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Customs and Border Protection is investigating the incident.
The boy reportedly started running on the tarmac before being intercepted by construction workers. "We are cooperating fully with the relevant authorities to support the ongoing investigation".
People sitting near the exit row stood up when the boy jumped out and started to shout, others said. "And everyone was just screaming".
There have been other similar incidents before where passengers have tried to jump off planes. S. citizen, was traveling alone on the Copa Airlines Flight 208 from Panama City headed to San Fransisco, reports AP. The crew detained him until the police arrived.
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It's illegal for a passenger to open the door themselves, and it's unclear what charges he may face.
"They were yelling, 'Tell the flight attendants".
The teenager, who has not been named, then slid down the wing onto the tarmac after it landed on Tuesday.
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