Details have emerged about David Dao, the man who was forcibly dragged off the United Airlines flight 3411. David Dao a father of five who is originally from Vietnam is now described as a doctor, professional poker player and a man who was once convicted of trading drugs for sex. The Louisville Courier-Journal and USA Today confirmed his identity and that he lives in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Prior to the United air incident, David Dao, 69, was on his way from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to Louisville. Attorney Stephen L. Golan of Golan Christie Taglia released a statement on behalf of the Dao family stating his client remained hospitalized for his injuries in Chicago as of April 11. The family is “appreciative” of the support they have received since the incident occurred April 9.
United originally stated that flight 3411 was “overbooked.” However, United spokesman Jonathan Guerin told USA Today that all of the 70 seats on the plane were filled, but that didn’t make it over capacity. Instead, a regional affiliate that was operating the flight — Republic Airlines — opted to move four of its passengers because four crew members were considered “must-ride passengers.”
United Airlines staff requested volunteers re-book their flight for the next afternoon. The airline said that it offered “up to $1,000 in compensation” if someone would accept. However after no one accepted the offer, United staff said it would select four passengers “randomly” to exit the plane. Dao was one of the four but was said to have refused and “become more disruptive and belligerent,” United said in an internal email to employees.
United said they were “were left with no choice” except to call Chicago Aviation Police to “re-accommodate” Dao. When they arrived, a scuffle ensued leading to Dao’s face being slammed against an arm rest. Officials eventually subdued Dao and took him off the flight. The flight was delayed about three hours because of the incident.
Dao studied at a medical school in Saigon, Vietnam. Dao had his medical license suspended for more than 10 years for illegally prescribing patients with painkillers. Dao was sentenced to probation, avoiding a two-year prison sentence.
Dao Was Convicted of Prescribing a Patient With Painkillers In Exchange for Sex in Louisville:
In 2003, Dao was charged with 98 counts of illegally prescribing and trafficking prescription painkillers such as: hydrocodone, Oxycontin and Percocet. Dao was a co-defendant in the case along with Brian D. Case, who was indicted on 33 felony drug charges.
Dao was caught on surveillance video meeting with patients and giving them with painkillers.
According to a criminal complaint on at least one occasion, Dao received $174 in exchange for the pills in an unlabeled bottle. From 2001-2003, Dao “unlawfully prescribed controlled substances” to patients, court documents said.
The criminal complain claimed Dao solicited homosexual relations with a male patient in exchange for a prescription for hydrocodone. The meetings occurred at motels and it was found that Dao had written out personal checks to the patient on more than one occasion.
Dao was arrested at a hotel room in Jefferson County on July 25, 2003. The room was under surveillance by the Louisville Police Department and Dao was seen with the male patient without a shirt on and with his pants undone. The patient gave Dao money for a bottle of pills and police stormed the room to arrest him upon the exchange.
Dao was officially charged with unlawful prescribing, trafficking in a controlled substance and complicity in obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit and pled not guilty to the charges.
Some of those charges ended up being dismissed, but Dao was eventually convicted on six counts. Dao was found guilty of complicity in obtaining a controlled substance (hydrocodone) by fraud and sentenced to two years, eight months in prison, a sentence that was suspended, and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Dao and his attorneys appealed the decision, but it was affirmed by a Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals in 2007.
A Patient Ended Up Working For Dao At His Practice & Quit Because of Sexual Advances Made By Him, He Said In a Criminal Complaint
The main informant in the case said first met Dao in September 2000 as a patient. Within three months, Dao asked the male patient to be an office manager at his medical practice in Kentucky. He worked there for about six weeks, but eventually resigned because of sexual advances and harassment from Dao, a complaint said.However, the patient wrote in his resignation letter that he quite for “personal reasons.”
Once the former office manager resigned, he said Dao “intensely pursued him, calling many times a day and driving to (where he lived) to find him.”
Eventually, the two met each other once again for a period of six months. During that span, Dao wrote him personal checks to the former employee that totaled around $4,500 in addition to prescribing hydrocodone.
Dao’s wife Teresa, eventually discovered the checks and assumed an affair. As Dao’s wife continued her private investigation, the two stopped meeting for a brief amount of time. Soon enough, Dao paid off the former employee to keep quiet to his wife.
The patient said in an interview with authorities that he believed that Dao intended on getting him addicted to the painkillers so that he would keep coming back to meet with him.
Poker & Cooking:
While his medical license was suspended Dao joined the poker circuit in July 2006. Dao has also played in several professional poker tournaments affiliated with the World Series of Poker.
According to the World Series of Poker’s website, in the past decade, Dao has a career earnings of $234,664. Dao’s biggest win came in 2009 at the Harrah’s Tunica Circuit Championship event in Mississippi, where he won $117,744 by finishing in second place.
Dao also had an interest in being a chef and attended a culinary school. The publication from Sullivan University in Kentucky stated that Dao had taken a “sabbatical from his busy medical practice” in 2004 to take up cooking. It read that Dao had found a passion about food and preventing disease “instead of always treating the symptoms.”
Dao Treated Patients at a Hospital & Owned His Own Practice before drug convictions:
Dao studied at a medical school in Vietnam before being forced to flee the country. Dao was also a soldier was in the Vietnamese military in 1974, but never saw action in the Vietnam War.
Dao finished his medical training in California before moving to Indiana in 1980. There, he worked at a prison in Michigan City but quit after one year when an inmate reportedly tried to strangle him with his own stethoscope.
Dao’s medical license was suspended on October 16, 2003 by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure because of his transgressions. He applied to have it completely reinstated in 2007, but the board shot it down.
It cited Dao’s practice as constituting “a danger to the health, welfare and safety of his patients or the general public.” The ruling added that it has “probable cause to believe that the physician has committed certain violations in the recent past that present probable cause to believe that (Dao) will commit similar violations in the near future.”
In order for it to get reinstated, Dao had to undergo extensive educational classes and evaluations by psychologists. Once he completed the required work, Dao applied for it to be reinstated again, and he was granted was partial renewal. On March Donna Nadeau, an office manager at a practice in Elizabethtown where Dao most recently worked, said that he was an upstanding co-worker.
“He’s a pleasant guy,” Nadeau told USA Today. “He really, really had a passion to get back into the medical field.” 2, 2016, board chair C. William Briscoe agreed to allow Dao to resume his practice of medicine in Kentucky.
Dr. Dao specializes in Pulmonary Disease who spent time working at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown. An employee from the hospital said in a statement to Heavy that Dao “had privileges to treat his own patients at the hospital from July 1986 to October 2003.” While doing so, he opened up a medical practice alongside his wife.