Man charged with stabbing United Airlines flight attendant
A Massachusetts man on a cross-country flight was arrested and charged after he allegedly tried to stab a flight attendant and open an emergency door mid-flight.
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, has been charged with interfering with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts.
Torres was on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston on Sunday when prosecutors said flight attendants confronted Torres about allegedly tampering with an exit door between first class and coach. Flight attendants told the plane's captain that they needed to land as soon as possible and that they believed Torres was a threat, federal prosecutors said.
Soon after, Torres allegedly struck a flight attendant in the neck three times with a broken metal spoon. Passengers tackled Torres and he was restrained with the help of other flight crew members, the release said. He was taken into custody after the plane arrived at Boston's Logan International Airport.
This report from CBS Boston contains video obtained from passenger Lisa Olsen of a man, apparently Torres, acting belligerently on the flight:
Torres told investigators he broke off the end of a spoon in the bathroom before trying to open the door to try and jump out of the plane, a Boston police officer wrote in an affidavit, and that he knew people would die had he opened the door. He also said he thought one of the attendants was trying to kill him.
Torres faces up to life in prison if convicted, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in its release.
United Airlines said Torres will be banned from flying with them, pending an investigation, according to CBS Boston.
"Thanks to the quick action of our crew and customers, one customer was restrained after becoming a security concern on United flight 2609 from Los Angeles to Boston," the airline said in a statement. "We have zero tolerance for any type of violence on our flights."
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