The man also attempted to open an emergency exit door during the flight, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
BOSTON, MA — A Massachusetts man tried to open an emergency exit door on a United Airlines flight out of Los Angeles and then attempted to stab a flight attendant in the neck, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a news release Monday.
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was charged with one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon after his arrest Sunday evening at Boston Logan International Airport, officials said.
About 45 minutes before the end of the flight, which was headed from Los Angeles to Boston, the crew was alerted to side door between the first class and coach sections being disarmed, the office wrote. A flight attendant found that the door’s locking handle had been moved partially toward the unlocked position.
After the flight attendants notified the captain and told him to land as soon as possible, Torres “thrust 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,” before passengers and flight crew worked together to retain him, officials said.
“Thanks to the quick action of our crew and customers, one customer was restrained after becoming a security concern,” United Airlines said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for any type of 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 charge of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon carries a sentence of up to life in prison, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
Torres had his initial appearance Monday before a U.S. District Court magistrate and will be detained pending a hearing set for March 9, officials said.