Massachusetts Man Tries to Open Door During Flight to Boston-Stabs Flight Attendant
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, of Massachusetts, was arrested for allegedly attempting to stab a flight attendant in the neck with a broken metal spoon three times during a flight from Los Angeles to Boston on Monday after he tried to open an emergency exit door, according to the Justice Department.
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During the United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston, the crew saw an alarm that a door in the plane had been disarmed. After inspection, one of the flight attendants noticed that the door’s locking handle had been pushed out of the fully locked position, and an emergency slide arming lever had been disarmed.
A flight attendant who saw Torres near the door went to talk to him about the door and asked if cameras showed he had tampered with the door.
“According to court documents, the flight attendant then notified the captain that they believed Torres posed a threat to the aircraft and that the captain needed to land the aircraft as soon as possible,” the Justice Department said.
Soon after, Torres allegedly got out of his seat, mouthing something, before thrusting “towards one of the flight attendants in a stabbing motion with a broken metal spoon, hitting the flight attendant on the neck area three times,” the department said.
Torres was tackled by other passengers on the flight and immediately taken into custody after the flight landed.
Man Charged Over Stabbing and Attempted Door Opening on United Airlines Flight https://t.co/SuXKFwmkIa pic.twitter.com/hfSPHgH9pN
— Dragon Advantage (@dragonadvantage) March 7, 2023
According to a criminal complaint, Torres told investigators he broke a spoon in half a bathroom on the airplane to use as a weapon. According to the complaint, he told law enforcement that he tried to open the emergency door and “had gotten the idea” to jump out of the plane.
Torres told investigators he was trying to defend himself and attempted to stab the flight attendant because he believed they were trying to kill him, the complaint states.
The flight attendant felt the object Torres was holding in his hand “hit him on his shirt collar and tie three times,” according to the complaint.
United Airlines says it has banned Torres from flying on future flights following this incidentEnter your email to subscribe to the CNN Five Things Newsletter. Top of Form
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“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,” United said in a statement.
United says the flight could land safely and without any reported injuries.
“We have zero tolerance for any violence on our flights, and this customer will be banned from flying on United pending an investigation. We are cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation,” the statement says.
Torres faced one charge of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon.
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Torres was arrested at Boston Logan International Airport Monday and will remain detained pending a hearing set for Thursday.
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