During a cross-country journey from Los Angeles to Boston, a Massachusetts man allegedly attempted to open the emergency exit door before trying to stab a flight attendant in the neck with a broken metal spoon, according to federal authorities.
As United Flight 2609 landed on Sunday at Boston Logan International Airport, Francisco Severo Torres, 33, of Leominster, was tackled, held with the assistance of passengers, and then arrested, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston.
The statement claimed that he was accused of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants with a hazardous weapon.
Before a hearing set for Thursday, the individual was held during his initial court appearance in federal court on Monday. His email address was provided in a comment request.
According to the prosecution, the crew discovered that a side door on the aircraft had been disarmed about 45 minutes before the plane was scheduled to land in Boston.
According to investigators, a flight attendant discovered that the emergency slide arming lever had been moved to the disarmed position and that the door’s locking handle had been moved from the fully locked position about a quarter toward the unlocked position.
The team locked the slide and door.
Torres was seen near the door, and a different flight attendant thought he had tampered with it.
The crew informed the pilot that he posed a threat and that an immediate landing was necessary.
Prosecutors claim that at that moment, Torres got up from his seat, walked over to two flight attendants standing in the aisle, and made stabbing movements with the spoon before striking one of them three times in the neck.
Passengers tackled Torres, who was subdued with the assistance of the crew.
According to United, nobody was hurt.
In response to a security concern on United Flight 2609 from Los Angeles to Boston, one passenger has restrained “thanks to the rapid action of our crew and customers,” the airline stated. “Law enforcement officials met the aircraft safely at the airport.”
Following the airline’s “zero tolerance” policy for violence, Torres will not be permitted to board United aircraft while an investigation is ongoing.
During the flight attendants’ pre-takeoff safety briefing, one passenger allegedly informed investigators that Torres had asked where on the safety card it showed where the door handle was situated.
He might receive a life sentence if found guilty.