*The passenger who was bloodied and dragged from a United Airlines flight is 69-year-old grandfather Dr. David Dao, a Vietnamese-American from Kentucky who specializes in internal medicine. But TMZ is also reporting that the doctor has been convicted of multiple drug offenses, including exchanging drugs for sex.
Dao’s wife Teresa, 69, is a pediatrician who trained at Ho Chi Minh University in Saigon and practices in Elizabethtown, just like her husband. According to the Daily Mail, Dr. Dao has previously worked at Hardin Memorial Hospital and owned a medical practice.
Four of their five children are also doctors, according to the Daily Mail. Their eldest son Tim, 34, practices medicine in Texas; their second son Ben, 31, is a med school graduate; their daughter Christine, 33, practices in Durham, NC; and their youngest daughter Angela, 27, is a med school graduate of the University of Kentucky.
Their daughter, Crystal – Christine’s twin – is a married mom in Barrington, Illinois.
According to TMZ, Dao was charged in 2005 with 98 felony drug counts for illegally prescribing and trafficking painkillers. Prosecutors claimed he fraudulently filled prescriptions for hydocodone, Oxycontin and Percocet.
Dr. Dao was also convicted on six felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit and in 2005 was given five years probation. Additionally, he was convicted for writing prescriptions and checks to a patient in exchange for sex.
In February, 2005, Dr. Dao surrendered his license to practice medicine in Kentucky. In 2015 the medical board lifted the suspension and allowed him to practice medicine again. Last year, the medical board imposed restrictions on his right to practice. He can only practice internal medicine in an outpatient facility one day a week.
Viral video of the Dr. Dao bleeding heavily as he was forcibly removed from the aircraft caused national shock and outrage. It was compounded Monday evening by United’s public apology in which CEO Oscar Munoz characterized the doctor’s violent removal as “having to re-accommodate” a customer due to overbooking.
In his private email to employees, however, Munoz defended the crew’s actions, calling the passenger “disruptive and belligerent” and praising his staff for going “above and beyond.”
According to other passengers, Dao explained that he had patients to see the next morning and could not miss the flight, despite his name being one of four passengers chosen at random to give up their seat for United staffers.
Watch video of Dr. Dao being dragged off the flight below: