The Washington Post
Tuesday, September 11, 2001; Page A08

Fingerprint Ruse Leads to Arrest in 1971 Hijacking

Associated Press

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 -- A man accused of a 1971 plane hijacking was arrested after investigators devised a ruse to match his fingerprints to those he allegedly left
on a soda can during the crime.

Patrick Dolan Critton, 54, was arrested at his Mount Vernon home Saturday by a joint task force of FBI and New York City investigators.

"He said he had been waiting for that knock on the door," New York Police Department Inspector Charles J. Wells said today.

Critton allegedly hijacked Air Canada Flight 932 while the plane was en route from Thunder Bay, Ontario, to Toronto. He allegedly brandished a handgun and a
grenade and demanded to be flown to Cuba.

The plane landed in Toronto, and the passengers were allowed to get off. The aircraft then flew to Havana with six crew members and Critton aboard, authorities
said. Once in Havana, Critton exited, and the plane flew back to Toronto.

Shortly after the hijacking, Critton's fingerprints were matched to prints taken from a soda can he is believed to have touched while on the plane, said Barry Mawn,
assistant director of the FBI's New York office.

Critton had done little to hide his identity, police said. In June, police in Canada did an Internet search of public databases and found someone with Critton's name
and Social Security number.

He had not changed either one, said Wells.

Canadian officials asked U.S. authorities for help. They learned Critton had taught elementary school in New York City in 1969; his file contained his fingerprints,
Wells said.

Police went to Critton's neighborhood, asking residents to look at a photo of a missing child. When Critton was approached, he touched the picture. The prints
allegedly matched sets from the Board of Education files and the prints on the soda can.

                                               © 2001